It’s always a treat when a chic new cafe opens up a little off the beaten track. The quiet neighbourhood shops of Ripponlea have recently experienced such a thrill with the opening of Hawk & Hunter Small Batch, a sprawling space replete with communal tables, industrial light fittings and take-home providore treats.
The menu’s a little on the pricey side with a ‘smoked salmon blini stack’ and ‘deconstructed eggs benedict’ offered up at $19 a pop. We sampled the ‘corn and blackbean fritters’, which came with avocado, a poached egg and chimmichurri sauce (chorizo optional). Disappointingly, it tasted a little bland and could have benefited from the acidic kick of some fresh tomato. As promising as dishes like the ‘french style mushrooms with pancetta and thyme ragu, with fried polenta, salsa verde and a poached egg’ sound on paper, if the flavour combination doesn’t quite add up, then the culinary creativity has been to no avail.
Right opposite the train station, Hawk & Hunter is sure to be churning out the coffees to passers-by, injecting a much needed caffeine shot into sleepy Ripponlea. Worth a try.
The Brew: 7
The Grub: 7
The Mood: 8