'Work hard, stay humble' is the motto at Hendriks Cafe, which is pretty good advice for life in general. It works for Hendriks, who have gone from strength to strength since opening in 2015. The hard work is down to owners Lee Eman and Chloe Dam, who pretty much built the place from scratch (with a little help from Chloe’s dad, Harry). The humbleness comes natural, despite becoming one of Mordialloc’s most popular morning bruncheries.
Hendriks set up shop in the remains of an old carpet factory, and the 9-month fitout managed to create a space that wouldn’t feel out of place on Brunswick St. Big open spaces, concrete floors, a mix of booth and communal seating, and food that comes ready made for Instagram.
The menu has always been ambitious (it used to feature whisky hot cakes with a whisky-infused maple syrup) but it’s evolved into something that feels contemporary and confident. None of these gimmicks for gimmicks' sake. The corn and chilli scramble with chimichurri verde and chorizo is an absolute knockout, but if you want to be a little more adventurous, order up a plate of the red velvet pancakes (served with white choc, strawberry and coconut mascarpone, choc-malt soil and shaved coconut—hells yes) or the buttermilk chicken po’ boy with slaw, pickles and a tangy aioli.
For drinks? It’s got to be the heaven-sent Oreo Cheesecake thick shake (yep, you read that right). An Oreo and vanilla bean shake, thick as two short planks, served with a cheesecake smear and Oreo crumb, with a whole Oreo whacked on the top for good measure.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White