Hiatus cafe opened in Kew Junction after a brief stint as Six Slices Pizza Bar, which followed a few decades as local Italian stalwart Bivio.
Its winter menu features pumpkin hot-cakes with native plum, persimmon and ginger custard and skirt steak on beer bread with a soft-boiled egg and preserved capsicum from an apprentice chef's nonna.
But the biggest hit is the crab omelette, the meat-hand picked and partnered with baby corn, leek and chilli ketchup. Owner Simon Tammesild – formerly general manager at modern Japanese restaurant Mr. Miyagi and more recently co-founder of Poké Me, a chain selling the trending Hawaiian raw fish dish – says it accounts for nearly 40 per cent of orders.
Most customers aren't aware that the crab shells are used to make bisque that poaches the crabmeat, part of the no-waste, use-all mentality in Rory Greenwood-McNeair's kitchen.
Greenwood-McNeair (ex Richmond's Feast of Merit) turns dehydrated carrot tops into seasoning, hangs coconut yoghurt, ferments kimchi, strains macadamia milk and preserves seasonal produce. Some of it is available at the counter to take home and there are plans to expand the range.
Should you require good lighting for photographing your eggs, it floods through the skylight into the whitewashed space, sparse except for some brick, brown leather banquettes and herbs tied to cutlery holders. Tammesild had to face his fear of heights to install the skylight, but some customers swear it's almost brighter inside than out.
Open daily 7am-4pm.
117 High Street, Kew, 0491 027 139, hiatus.life