Fans of the ever-popular Touchwood and Barry are in for a treat with the imminent arrival of Armadale’s Mammoth cafe. Jamie and Loren McBride, the husband and wife team who so successfully nailed the hip Melbourne cafe brief in Richmond and Northcote, are at in again, this time going solo with their Armadale venture.
The keep it in the family approach certainly seems to work for the duo; while Touchwood’s under new ownership, Barry is still very much a family affair for Loren, who co-owns the northside healthy eating haunt with her brothers and father (along with Chef, Steve Svenson).
For Mammoth, the couple have enlisted the help of Chef Emma Jeffrey (formerly Hammer & Tong), who they believe is “one of the most creative young chefs working in Melbourne at the moment.” Says Loren, “We love her passion, energy and appetite to create something different. We are stoked to have her heading up our kitchen.”
The Mammoth menu promises to be playful and balanced, with both healthy and more indulgent options on offer.
“Emma has found a middle ground between us and what she was doing at Hammer & Tong. As always, we have a focus on healthy eating, but alongside some really fun dishes. Our spanner crab egg crepe is going to be amazing, and I am really excited for our cherry lamington Dutch baby aka. puffed pancake.”
Personally, I am chomping at the bit to try their doughnut burger—South Australian rock lobster served on a salt and pepper doughnut. Drool.
As for the leafy suburb choice, Loren explains: “We have thought for a long time that this part of town was screaming out for what we do. In Richmond we had lots of loyal guests come over from Malvern, Caulfield, Toorak, Prahan and South Yarra. We also jumped at the chance to breathe new life into what is an iconic building in the area. We love our beautiful corner space. As opposed to the busier strips around us, we have a peaceful, sunny shop with a lovely aspect.”
Turning to Techne Architects for the fitout, the couple are thrilled with the results. “I’m a little biased, but WOW! The pale blue terrazzo tiles and ‘mechano’ bar are two definite highlights. We cannot wait to show it off! They (Techne Architects) have done an outstanding job of creating a space that is practical, beautiful and different.”
With Mammoth slated to swing open its doors around 10th September, Loren adds: “We love what we do, we are blessed to have an amazing team of loyal staff, and most importantly an amazing group of customers that always support us.”
As to the ingredients for success in the Melbourne cafe game, “We think the big four are genuine hospitality, an exciting menu, delicious coffee, and a well designed space.”
Image credit: Barry, Simon Shiff for The Urban List