Located high up off street level on Burwood road, this relatively new cafe is becoming a favourite of mine. Occupying a space that has seen a few different businesses such as Canvas, Orto and Chester White in only a couple of years, I sincerely hope these guys are here to stay.
What makes Hawthorn Common not so common is the way in which they do things. From rolling their own oats, making their own bread, roasting their own beans and even providing a yoga session every saturday morning, it was a no brainer that HC would be awarded in their sustainable practice by The Age Good Food Guide in 2014.
As you walk up the stairs you find a big sun deck covered in succulents, herbs, vegetables and stripy umbrellas. As you walk inside, you’ll see black and wood finishes, jars of produce, more greenery and white tiles that cover the back wall along the kitchen. Around the room you will also find black and white portraits of some of the faces behind the business. My favourite would have to be the one of cafe owners Danny and Sian’s gorgeous girl Poppy.
Having a quick chat to the boss, I was informed on the chef’s backgrounds and experiences. Moving from places like Vue De Monde and Cafe Vue I knew the food here would not only taste great but look amazing as well. Sure enough, as I watched the plates come out, I saw consistency, height, colour and balance. Everything looked extremely delicious. Check it out on Instagram by searching #hawthorncommon , you’ll see exactly what I mean 🙂
Checking out the menu, breakfast has the usual suspects: fruit toast, porridge, oats, baked beans and eggs your way. If you’re a little bit adventurous and also a mushroom fan, try the Mushrooms on chargrilled toast with feta, caramelised onion and basil. If you’re a savoury type of person they serve a Ricotta Flan with cured trout, dill, beetroot relish, sour-cream and brioche. Or if you love sweet breakfasts they have vanilla pancakes with fruit and apple honey syrup!
Moving on to lunch you have options from entrees, mains and sides. Depending on hunger levels, you can choose from garden or grain salads, vegetable fritters, pulled pork rolls, rump steak or fish of the day. Pair them up with potatoes or asparagus sides, but I strongly recommend you leave room for dessert – Bitter coffee brulee with chocolate soil and salted caramel :O
If you’re feeling like a sandwich, check out the cabinet near the till. It’s filled with yummy looking baguettes that are generously filled with high quality ingredients. It also features lots of little baked goods that are baked in-house. I am yet to try the donut.. .It looks so damn good!
To drink, there is of course tea and coffee. A Genovese based blend, I am always happy with my coffees and will absolutely order more than one each time I go. You also have the choice of fresh juices (‘green’, ‘yellow’ and ‘orange’) and healthy smoothies (‘green’, ‘red’ and ‘breakfast’). I loved the sound of the green smoothie with almond milk, date, honey, banana, kale and yoghurt ($7) and when it came out, others on my table were intrigued to try it (and I think my mum was a bit jealous!) It was delicious, fresh and perfect for sipping on whilst out on the sun deck.
Ordering breakfast was hard. And although I went with a boring combo of poachies with mushies and avo, I believe it’s a good indicator of ingredient quality and level of effort from the chef. If I get overcooked eggs, it usually means the chef isn’t focusing on the little, easy things. And I hate brown avocado!
First of all, the toast was lovely. Made fresh and perfect size. There is nothing worse than getting HUGE pieces of bread that are thin and awkwardly fitting on your plate. Second, the eggs. My favourite part. They were poached well. Just enough to hold shape and not too much that I have to spread the yolk over my bread like refrigerated butter. The avocado was a good serving size, however the mushrooms were INCREDIBLE. And I mean, probably the best mushrooms I’ve had in a cafe. Seasoned well, not over cooked and once again a good serving size.
Looking around the table, I would definitely also recommend the oats and porridge. I wanted so badly to jump across the table and take some of the porridge. It was full of seeds, fruit and nuts. I’m excited to go back in colder weather and try winter dishes.
On a finishing note, the staff are great. They are always happy and friendly. Common’s quote, which is #’ed and printed on their shirts “better than yesterday” is a further indication of their positivity. I feel very welcomed when I walk in and the ambience in the cafe is pleasant.
I also apologise for lack of photos, I would have taken more had I known I was going to write this post so soon! I am currently on a 3 hour break at uni between classes and felt the urge to do a review! Haha
(Hawthorn Common also do functions, and it is such a beautiful space. They also do dinners on Friday nights so check out their website/facebook or go in to make a booking! I’m definitely keeping this place in mind for events 🙂 )