The Mabel Cafe Love Child Hits Mitcham
The Mabel Cafe described by it's owners as their "illegitimate love child", has hit Mitcham with gusto and style. If ever there was a "burbs cafe" The Mabel is it.
Located in a nondescript line of shops and businesses, The Mabel is a shining light that borders a residential dwelling. The locals of Mitcham and Donvale are rolling up in numbers; undoubtably rejoicing that the advent of this cafe has possibly pushed their house prices up by another million bucks. After all, there's a deficit of fine cafes in this leafy part of Melbourne's eastern suburbs. For the local cafe aficionado this is an answer to prayer, including The World Loves Melbourne, who lives nearby. How good is it when you have a top cafe open up within walking distance of your home! (Don't worry The Mabel we won't be taking our camera to every meal).
The World Loves Melbourne rocked up for brunch on the second day of The Mabel's operation; to find a cafe pumping and settled, looking like it had been there for years. The passion and pride in the little touches is already evident. Greeting on arrival and an invitation to hit up on a coffee before ordering food was appreciated. Looking at the menu, it was noticeable that the food is on trend in terms of modern offerings, with several healthy eating options.
Choose from dishes such as Smashed avocado on potato rosti with roast pepper and legume salsa; or the Pulled pork baked potato with roast pepper bean and corn salsa, sour cream and chives; or the French Toast with poached fruit and coulis ice cream. Healthy options include Nicola Granola or the Chickpea and green tea pattie on an English muffin with kale and avocado. A beef Burger no doubt will do well, as will the Tasting Plate with Ham hock and chicken terrine with pickles, onion jam and sour dough.
Owners Tim and Nicola are experienced hospitality maestros in the Yarra Valley having worked in fine dining and casual restaurants; The Mabel is indeed their love child. Tim and Nicola are professionals full of humour and verve, even quirk. Somehow they've not been jaded by hospitality. They engage with the customers and love to chat; this is a labour of love.
The World Loves Melbourne brazenly started taking photos of the joint, shameless as always. We even engaged in conversation with the locals, who were enthusiastic, understanding that they may very well be living in the next street to us. Love thy neighbour.
Poached eggs with grilled salmon, shaved radish and wasabi hollandaise, on sour dough toast with a side of Potato Rosti was a mild sensation of a brunch dish. Poached eggs and salmon is always a winner combination but poached eggs and grilled salmon is not as common, but equally delightful. A generous portion of the grilled salmon was more than welcome. The finesse of a fine chef was evident in the advent of thinly sliced radish and onion, which lifted the dish in to zesty wonderland. Not only that, but the wasabi hollandaise was a talking point in itself. Why serve boring old school hollandaise when you can serve wasabi hollandaise with some kick. Eggs were of course cooked perfectly with oozy yolk and the salmon was on song, all on sourdough. This brunch dish was a creamy crunchy cacophony.
The side of Potato Rosti was superb, and generous in portion; perfect to mop up some of the wasabi hollandaise.
Smashed avocado on potato rosti with roast pepper and legume salsa is another zesty creamy crunchy dish of note.
Decor is charming with a dose of quirk; modern lighting with lamps and naked bulbs, attractive tables and chairs and a modern counter and display cabinet; not to mention a sexy new Ruggero coffee machine. Quirk abounds with an old radio cabinet, old door, large clock, cool tiles, copper pipes, as well as use of recycled timber in some of the counter.
The Mabel is a breath of fresh air on the Melbourne cafe scene; savvy and welcoming. Get on it.