295B Springfield Road Nunawading, Victoria 3131
|Opening hours||Wed-Sun 7am-4pm|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9877 4381|
''SERIOUSLY, $4.20 for a caffe latte. Who are they kidding?'' writes one outraged Urbanspooner. ''Consistently the best coffee … a top place in the 'burbs!'' posts another.
Michael Olsen has copped a lot of flak for charging $4.20 for a coffee, both at Redcup Cafe in Box Hill and at a newish venture, The Peddler, a smart, big-windowed corner cafe in Nunawading. People say, ''How can you charge that much when you're in Nunawading?'' but he views the ''all the way out here'' mentality as an insult. That's what he reckons it's worth and that's what he charges.
Peddler's blend is Genovese Super Brazil and it's a single shot. It was an OK cup - not outstanding, not dire - but a bit weak for my preference. What is outstanding is the gorgeous view, an uninterrupted stint to the Dandenongs over leafy treetops still in autumn bloom. Big windows flood the olive and blond-timbered space with light, a gas fire glows by the door, and a box of toys keeps toddlers semi-occupied.
At weekends, Peddler is mobbed and it's a noisy, buzzy vibe; there's a big family contingent and dog walkers and cyclists love the outdoor tables. Staff are quick and organised. On a flat-chat Sunday morning, the brunchy food landed on our table in a little less than 35 minutes.
Peddler's menu is related to Redcup's but is a little more adventurous. Servings are huge. ''Our baked beans'' is a mix of cannellini and borlotti (quite al dente) with two crisp ''flash-fried'' eggs, a few quenelles of red-capsicum dip, and chopped red pepper - served on Turkish bread.
If you order the eggs benedict, you will need to like ham - it's so thickly cut that it would work just as well with mashed potato, white sauce and a stout. The free-range eggs are soft-poached and the hollandaise is not bad. A children's menu has items such as grilled-cheese and Vegemite toasties, and mini pancakes with butterscotch and ice-cream.
Sweets are baked in-house, such as the giant, two-hander muffins (apple and walnut or banana and chocolate), gluten-free carrot cake or triple-choc biscuits. The lemonade is made from customers' lemons.
Say what you will about The Peddler, but there's no denying it has invigorated a sleepy strip and created a cosy, neighbourly hub. Now there is somewhere to sit and muse about the cost of living … while you drink it.
You may also like …
■Station Street Cafe
Friendly cafe-wine bar with comfy couches and superb vanilla slices.
26 Station Street, Nunawading, 9878 9383.
Michael and Kelly Olsen's ''first-born'', another cafe coloniser on an empty strip, with a family-friendly vibe.
1124 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, 9899 1893.