Cornerstone & Co. in Hampton is everything that you could possibly wish for from a local cafe. Sitting pretty on the corner of Ludstone Street and Kingston Street, it sports a bright interior with comfortable modern furniture—and most importantly, a finger lickin' menu.
Cornerstone & Co.'s head chef is was born and raised in Japan, however he headed to Italy and worked in some of the country's top restaurants for almost a decade, giving him a unique love of traditional and modern Italian cuisine. Combine this with his Japanese heritage and his love of Australia and voila! You have one helluva menu. We challange you to be able to choose between the Japanese oknomiyaki fritters, the EPIC macro bowl and the caponata baked eggs.... and that's just on the breakfast menu.
Though Cornersone & Co. is normaly a day-time affair, one weekend a month it plays host to an Italian-Japanese fusion degustation dinner. We were more than a touch intrigued about this seemingly unlikely combination, but WOW! We tucked into five courses of perfectly curated fusion dishes.
The flavours were blended with a subtlety that removed any 'weirdness' that a clash of the two cuisines might have casued. Though the menu changes each month, we enjoyed salmon tartare with sesame, watercress and quail egg yolk, followed by a vegetarian dish. This was then followed up by a Japanese vegetarian dish, then a silky smooth serving of spaghetti and squid. A dish of pork two ways followed (the belly was the most tender piece of meat that I've ever experienced), accompanied by wilted greens and an orange puree, which added the perfect touch of zing.
We finished things off on a sweeter note—a mouth watering cassata with poached figs—hand on heart one of the best desserts we've had.
As if it could get any better? Cornerstone & Co. is fully licensed!
Image credit: Cornerstone & Co.