Ivy and Pearl cafe review

Inside Ivy and Pearl cafe in Rosanna.
Inside Ivy and Pearl cafe in Rosanna. Photo: Justin McManus

31 Davies St Rosanna, VIC 3084

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Opening hours Mon-Fri 7.30am-3pm; Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Features Outdoor seating, Family friendly, Vegetarian friendly, Gluten-free options
Prices Cheap (mains under $20)
Payments eftpos, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9457 4858

What's a cafe like Ivy and Pearl doing in a place like this? On a recherche Rosanna shopping strip near the local primary school and next to a place specialising in pre-loved dinner settings, Ivy and Pearl is testament to the power of the middle-ring 'burbs and their growing demand for local cafe excellence. Rosanna is no stranger to the third-wave cafe but this cosy bolthole busting some satisfying Middle Eastern-accented food moves is the most exciting thing to happen in the area since the makeover of the train station.

The space

The positive union of good bones and artificial plants is hard to deny. Faux Chinese jasmine (benefit: always in bloom) curls above the counter while cobalt-blue quilted banquettes lining the opposite wall add their own design statement. Head out back (be warned: the automatic door silently swings open and might make you jump) to a decent-sized, covered courtyard doing its all-weather thing with a modicum of style.

Avocado smooshed with peas and lime on sourdough.
Avocado smooshed with peas and lime on sourdough. Photo: Justin McManus

The food

Daniel Kadamani, who owns Ivy and Pearl with his wife Stephanie, is a chef who's worked with Michael Bacash (Bacash) and Shane Delia (Maha). His menu goes gently Levantine without scaring away anyone who likes their eggs sunny side-up with nothing more adventurous than a side of bacon. It's as busily on-trend as it gets: breakfast panna cotta with all the fruit and nut bells and whistles; two fat fingers of the garlicky house hash with kale pesto, a poached egg, sauteed mushrooms, fresh ricotta and – trigger warning – truffle oil (thankfully kept to a discrete spritz rather than the full Lynx drench). At lunchtime get down with hunks of slow-cooked lamb shoulder in a salad with baubles of pomegranate and Israeli cous cous and a thick lick of labna.

The brew

Garlicky house hash with a spritz of truffle oil.
Garlicky house hash with a spritz of truffle oil. Photo: Justin McManus

Coffee is by Axil – the single origin Costa Rican beans changing weekly for those who like it black, their Seasonal blend (tasting notes: raisin, bakers' chocolate and custard) for the dairy crowd. The flat white loses a point for excessive milkiness (alternatively, stop the kvetching and order a three-quarter latte). Also on the menu: beetroot, turmeric and matcha lattes.

The booze

Not yet, although hopefully Banyule Council give its blessing in the near future.

On trend: Breakfast panna cotta.
On trend: Breakfast panna cotta. Photo: Justin McManus

Address 31 Davies Street, Rosanna, 03 9457 4858, ivyandpearl.com.au

Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-3pm; Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

Avo index Smashing. A whole avo must have been sacrificed for this baby, smooshed with peas and lime on sourdough. Whipped feta, poached egg and avo-tahini mousse come along for the ride, scattered with an assembly line of sesame seeds, sumac and edible flowers ($17.90).

Overheard "But you're definitely going to school tomorrow, OK?"

Loving A notable degree of vego and vegan friendliness.

Not getting Decorative pea shoots. Will we never be set free from this meaningless greenery?

Caffe latte $3.80

Score One cup
Food 8/10; Coffee 3/5; Atmosphere 3/5