Heart of Hall cafe, food store and cooking school opens in Newport

Citrus tart with pistachio crumb.
Citrus tart with pistachio crumb. Photo: Supplied

 

What is it?

Sounds like a location from Game of Thrones, feels like a breath of fresh air. This cobalt blue and timber former bank in Newport is spacious and bright, yet intimate and welcoming. It's a mash-up of cafe and kitchen-goodies retail outlet by day, and cookery school at night. It offers exquisite ingredients sourced from small independent suppliers such as Schulz​ Organic Dairy, Meatsmith, Green Eggs and the gorgeously packaged Jose sardines, all the way from Portugal, courtesy of the Canned Company. It unashamedly loves home cooks (hooray!) and lives to share techniques, ideas and a passion for recipes and the stories and people behind them in classes and on its website.

Jose sardines in tomato sauce on sourdough with fresh tomato,  spinach and red onion.
Jose sardines in tomato sauce on sourdough with fresh tomato, spinach and red onion. Photo: Supplied

Who's behind it

Locals Stacey Krbaleski​ and Nicole Walker are the brains behind the counter. Danni Perryman, formerly of Walter's Wine Bar, runs the kitchen, and Kate McKay (ex-Jamie Oliver's Recipease, London) leads a team of suppliers, experts and enthusiasts in the cooking class department.

Why we're excited

Learning the art of pasta making at Heart of Hall.
Learning the art of pasta making at Heart of Hall. Photo: Supplied

HoH nails the brekky to lunch thing with excellent Small Batch coffee, pastries and a decent array of eggy, avocado and bubble-and-squeak-type plates (good luck keeping the kids away from the jumbo house-made pistachio meringues). But where this place really shines is in the fridge and on the shelves, where you can browse for the ingredients, kitchen tools and gadgets used in the cookery classes, and take them home. But what really sets it apart is the obvious desire to participate in and to work with the community. 

Cafe and shop open Mon-Fri 6.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 7am-1pm. Check the website for cooking class dates and times.

17 Hall Street, Newport, 03 9939 5819, heartofhall.com.au