105/107 White Street Mordialloc, Victoria 3195
|Opening hours||Daily 7am - 4pm|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
Do…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
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