Hendriks Cafe

All-day brunch adds to the relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
All-day brunch adds to the relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Photo: Wayne Taylor

105/107 White Street Mordialloc, Victoria 3195

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Opening hours Daily 7am - 4pm
Features Family friendly
Prices Cheap (mains under $20)
Chef Adam Owens, Tom Croswell
Payments eftpos, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9021 8980

Melbourne is short of baristas. Laugh if you want, but Lee Eman probably won't. He spent Easter Monday pumping out coffee at his new Mordialloc cafe, Hendriks, for a line of latte-thirsty locals that reportedly snaked around the corner – his regular barista can't be expected to work every day, can he?

Lucky Eman knows his way around a Synesso: he's worked as a barista at Bentleigh's Merchant's Guild, as well as manager at Limoncello in Sandringham.

Hendriks is the realisation of a dream for Eman and his partner, Chloe Dam. It's the last stanza of a nine-month fitout of the former carpet factory where Mordialloc segues from beachside suburbia to industrial hinterland.

The pulled pork po' boy.
The pulled pork po' boy. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Eman, helped by Chloe's dad, Harry, did all the woodwork and a lot of the everything else: you can still see photos of him on the website, wielding a late-night paint roller. 

The result is a big, bright, open space on a corner with a nice mix of booth seating, communal tables and cosy two and four-seaters. It's the kind of space you might expect a bit closer to the city, but it's no surprise to find good food and good coffee in a stylish setting in the suburbs of Melbourne now (especially the south-east, which looks ripe for a cafe boom).

In the open kitchen, chefs Adam Owens (ex-Miss Jackson) and Tom Croswell (MONA) have worked up an all-day menu of the brunch things Melbourne loves. An almond milk and chia pudding comes in a stemless wine glass brimming with shards of crisp green apple; at the bottom whole raspberries and lime juice give the chia pudding a tangy, fruity lift, while hot cakes with whiskey-infused maple syrup nestle under a pile of bacon sprinkled with sweet pecan praline,; and the Big One is a generous take on bacon 'n' eggs: two poached ones, piled on the plate with folds of bacon, sauteed mushrooms, tomato and crushed – not smashed – avocado.

Fairy floss topped french toast.
Fairy floss topped french toast. Photo: Elisa Watson

H's Hash is a chunky hash thing with big, soft pieces of potato generously larded with ham hock, nicely browned outside; on top, two poached eggs, whose yolks run into the slather of mustardy hollandaise. There's kale, oiled and given a crisp in the oven and a dusting of salt and pepper: the green veg quota, I guess.

The lunch highlight – spruiked by the waitstaff to indecisive middle-aged men – is The Boys: three po' boys (do you say that "po" or "paw"? I don't know). There's buttermilk chicken (fried pieces, popcorn-style); southern shrimp (isn't that prawn?), dusted with cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, sage and flour and fried; and, of course, pulled pork with chipotle mayo.

They're served in a takeaway sandwich box with coleslaw and pickles. The pork is a soft wodge, spilling out of the banh mi-style baguette. The best method is to load coleslaw and pickles into the roll, go at it, and mop up later with a napkin.

Almond milk and chia pudding.
Almond milk and chia pudding. Photo: Elisa Watson

Coffee is from 5 Senses – crowd-pleasing brews with a nice fruity tang in the milk – as well as regular single origins from guest roasters: first up is the Costa Rica La Rosalia from Coffee Bird (as in Omar and the Marvellous …) in Gardenvale.

And, we hope, more skilled baristas to brew it.

get a po' boy to go – the takeaway boxes are for real
Don't…park across the neighbours' driveways, please
Dish Pulled pork po' boy
Vibe New buzzing local