Could Lokall, an unassuming new cafe built to service workers from Burnley's Botanicca Corporate Park, be the home of Melbourne's best cheese toast?
It's made with a thick slice of house-made Japanese fluffy white bread (called shokupan), bechamel and cheddar, that's grilled until bronzed and bubbly. In truffle season, you can have it topped with freshly shaved truffle.
The bread recipe came from Sunga Little, wife of Dean Little who co-owns Lokall with Steve Lim. Dean Little and Lim met five years ago cheffing at Supernormal and progressed through the McConnell restaurant stable together – most recently, Little was head chef at Cumulus Inc.
Noticing a lack of spots that did really good breakfasts and lunches in Burnley, Lim and Little decided to open their own.
"We're trying to create something really inviting, that people want to come to on their lunch breaks," Little says.
Much of the menu revolves around Sunga's shokupan. As well as the cheese toast, it's used to make sandwiches, including chicken katsu ("We totally overload it," Little says, "there's chicken falling out everywhere").
There's a range of salads (butter beans, kalette and hazelnut; or cauliflower, almond and tahini), soups and brown rice bowls, topped with ingredients such as koji chicken, cauliflower and mushroom, or confit trout, broccoli, egg and olive leaf.
There are also house-made cakes, scrolls, jam doughnuts, caneles and macaroon-style biscuits filled with jelly and chocolate mousse.
For now, Lokall, which retains details from former tenant Street Kitchen Co, updated with polished concrete floors, is open until 4pm on weekdays. But there are plans to open for after-work drinks and potentially weekends.
Open Mon-Fri 6.30am-4pm.
582 Swan Street, Burnley, 03 9818 8973, lokall.com.au