Townhouse

Kylie Northover
Modern touch: The cafe's light interior.
Modern touch: The cafe's light interior. Photo: Anu Kumar

466 Toorak Road Toorak, Victoria 3142

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03 9973 8721
Opening hours Monday-Friday 7am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-4pm
Features Licensed, Family friendly
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Payments Mastercard, Visa, eftpos

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.

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.

The Townhouse burger and fries.
The Townhouse burger and fries. Photo: Anu Kumar

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.

Drink

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).

Eat

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).

Who's there

It's mixed, but there's a younger crowd than other nearby eateries.

Why bother

Heralding in a new era of boutique coffee in the village.