Monday, December 10, 2012

Ora, Kew by Big Fil

It’s a curse.  Melbourne has so many good cafes it is impossible to try all of them.  You can try and try and try, but as fast as you visit one another magically appears.  Consequently you can feel a bit like Sisyphus, who according to Greek myth was condemned to push a huge boulder to the top of a hill only for it to always fall down to the bottom again.  Ok, that’s an obscure reference out of nowhere, but that's really how it feels sometimes, just after you try yet another great brunch word comes over the grapevine of the latest superdooper in place.

Ora counts as one of those superdooper places.  It’s in a strange location for such a good café, off the nearby main shopping strip around the High Street corner in Kew, down a suburban street and in a small group of shops.  Doesn’t look like much from the outside either, although the steady stream of people moving in the same direction as us may have been a clue we were heading for somewhere a little special.

Inside it's kind of nice, homey and comfy possibly partly because it does feel fairly small.  Indeed, given the number of patrons early on a Sunday morning I could imagine having to wait a while for seat. And would it be worth it?  Absolutely.

I’d heard Ora had a good reputation for its food and the menu is certainly an interesting one.  While it was partly because we were talking so much it took us several minutes to decide on our orders – the pressed pork belly and pickled pork hock with quail egg for me, and for Snooze the broadbean falafel with smoked eggplant dip, grapefruit quinoa and while I don’t remember it from the menu a dollop of labna of the side.

I absolutely loved my pressed pork belly.  As described by Snooze "I vacuumed it up".  Some of the richest pork flavours I’ve had in a long time, and the meat juicy and moist without being overly fatty.  Even the beans, which were much better than you typically get with a café breakfast, were overwhelmed by the porky heaven.  Something I could happily eat again and again, at least until achieving Michelin man status.

Snooze, of course, ordered the more restrained option.  While it couldn’t compare with porky heaven I was impressed with her meal as well.  The falafel in particular were light and herby, the quinoa added a nice spark to the flavour.  Probably nine times out of ten this would have been the best dish of the day, but not today.

Nice if small café with staff that were both friendly and very cute.  A bit of a mixed crowd as it looked like there were a few blow ins like Snooze and myself but also some local families. It’s not surprising Kew has one of the best cafes in Melbourne, but it is surprising it isn’t more centrally located. Definitely worth a visit.

Food – 8.5
Service – 8
Ambience – 8
Price - 7

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

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