Modern touch: The cafe's light interior. Photo: Anu Kumar
Where and what
Among the expensive homeware stores and purveyors of posh kaftans in Toorak village, new cafe Townhouse has brought contemporary dining and decent coffee to an area lacking in both.
Opened in December by Matt Ward and Mitchell Haworth of Prospect Espresso in Camberwell, and head chef Will Manning, formerly of The Botanical, Verge and Prospect, Townhouse is light, airy and stylishly Scando in its fitout.
The Townhouse burger and fries. Photo: Anu Kumar
It is one of the only cafes around these parts serving single-origin coffees from boutique roasters, rather than the traditional heavy Italian-style still popular in this strip, and modern breakfast and lunch dishes.
Where to sit
Perch at the bar in the window facing Toorak Road for some high-end people-watching, nab a comfy seat on the banquette lining one wall, or one of the tables out back in the rather cosy courtyard.
Beverages here are really all about the coffee, although the owners have applied for a liquor licence. In the meantime, Townhouse baristas have a changing blend and single-origins from boutique roasters such as Proud Mary, Mailing Room, Seven Seeds and Code Black. They also offer cold drip and, perfect in the extreme heat, Vietnamese-style iced coffee made with sweet, sticky condensed milk ($5).
Breakfast is served until 3pm and runs from the healthy, or healthy-ish - Flip Shelton's muesli with green apple and cinnamon yoghurt ($12.50); smoked salmon on dark rye with poached eggs, avocado and preserved lemon hollandaise ($17.50) - to the decidedly less so, with sweet options including banana bread with espresso ice-cream and walnut crumble ($11.50), and brioche French toast with lemon mousse, strawberries and maple pecans ($17.50).
In between there are eggs, sides and build-your-own breakfast options. Lunch, served from 11.30am, can cater to the local ladies-who-lunch with crudites (carrot, cucumber, celery, radish, witlof, walnuts and truffled cream, $10.50), or to those seeking something more substantial, the sweet-and-savoury flavours of the Townhouse burger, made from house-minced Angus beef, free-range bacon, cheese, pickles and lettuce in a brioche bun and served with fries ($21.50); and the market fish and chips with tempura-battered (or grilled) fish, Asian slaw and yuzu tartare ($22). There's also a selection of sandwiches - roast chicken, slow-cooked pork or vegetarian ($12/$13).
Desserts are simple - ice-cream cones for just $4 or a chocolate parfait with olive oil ice-cream, salted almonds and honey tuile ($11.50).
It's mixed, but there's a younger crowd than other nearby eateries.
Heralding in a new era of boutique coffee in the village.
- 03 9973 8721
- Cuisine - Modern Australian
- Features - Outdoor seating
- Chef(s) - Will Manning
- Owners - Matt Ward, Mitchell Haworth and Will Manning
- Opening Hours - Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm; weekends, 8am-4.30pm.
- Author - Kylie Northover