There’s something smashed on the Hiatus menu. But it’s not avocado. In fact, nothing at this Zen-like Kew cafe is quite what you think. From the street it looks like a cosy little white-washed coffee nook...but there’s also a sunny timber-lined courtyard out back. They do smoothies...but the smoothies include things like ‘feijoa’, tonka beans and peppermint.
Hiatus is the cafe equivalent of The Tardis—there's a lot more in there than meets the eye. Let’s wind this back a bit...
Hiatus is the brainchild of Simon Tammesild, one of the founders of Poke Me. He’s also worked at Mr Miyagi and Stokehouse. Basically—this guy knows good food. He’s teamed up with head chef Rory Greenwood-McNeair (great name) to create something refreshingly different—dinner dishes for breakfast, and nothing over $20 bucks.
This space used to be an old pizza restaurant, but Tammesild pretty much gutted it and started again. Now it’s got high ceilings, exposed brick, white walls and an air of lazy Sunday brunches that roll on for hours (hence the name—a ‘hiatus’ from real life).
When it comes to the menu, it’s hard to know where to start.
Teff crumpets with strawberries and poppy seeds? Smashed beetroot topped with oat crisps and sprouted mung beans? Or maybe the Bubble & Squeak (first one of those we’ve seen in a while): a fennel-stuffed potato rosti arrangement, with sauerkraut, wild fennel, zucchini and housemade soda bread. Add a poached egg for extra oozy goodness.
Our top pick? Weirdly the Heirloom Carrots (we know—what's happened to us?). They're just so satisfying on a blustery Melbourne morning: perfectly roasted wild carrots, spiked with peanuts and pickled ginger dressing (trust us, it works) and served alongside lentil puree and wild rice. Rory, you crazy beautiful bastard...these things are fantastic.
If you want to play things safe, there’s always ‘Eggs Your Way’. But really, Melbourne’s full of cafes that colour inside the lines. You come here to break the mould.
Coffee Bird is supplying the caffeine, and the cheerful baristas behind the La Marzocco certainly know their way around a strong latte. If you feel like something lighter, Hiatus is running tea by Larsen & Thompson (go the Yunan Green) and even a zesty range of Bod Kombucha.
If you’re suffering some Melbourne brunch ennui (symptoms: looking at smashed av’ with lemon now leaves you dead inside), give Hiatus a try. We can guarantee one thing: it won’t be what you’re expecting.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White