My unwavering commitment to providing you the best places to eat in Melbourne and beyond in my philanthropic, food porn-esque style has been duly recognised by the pre-eminent restaurant review site in this fair city, nay the world! That’s right loyal readers, my endless consumption of calories for your voyeuristic pleasure was rewarded on Sunday when Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) took yours truly, and some equally food obsessed bloggers, to brunch at the delightful Hawk & Hunter in Ripponlea.
Upon entering this fine establishment it was abundantly obvious how popular this place is. Even with rain splashing down on the pavement creating puddles to jump over there were still crowds of well-heeled and hungry beauties gathering to brunch at Hawk & Hunter. Melbourne’s coldest July day in decades was apparently no match for the allure of H&H, which has been expertly operating for over 3 years under the knowledgeable guidance of local owner Amanda. The architectural fit out (award winning) with full-length windows, blond and natural woods combined with exposed brick, beautifully selected pieces and warm lighting makes for an inviting space.
We not only have a much-loved licensed café here, we also have the pleasure of some extra special guests for brunch. We are first greeted by 14-year-old baking sensation Morgan of Bistro Morgan who now provides 7 savvy Melbourne cafes with their handmade doughnut and pastry needs. Morgan manages this demanding workload along with school and 800m running. And you thought you were busy! We have a multi talented artist on our hands here. In my usual gluttonous way I sampled an array of Morgan’s freshly crafted delights, each miraculously more amazing than the next.
I popped a little Portuguese tart in my mouth while I deliberated which doughnut I would start with. I sought guidance from Morgan as to his favourites and went from there. Crème brulee, white choc raspberry and peppermint crisp said Morgan and so I dutifully obeyed. It was my first time inserting a syringe into a donut, or in fact inserting a syringe into anything really. But being the conscientious person that I am I got better the more I practiced and so practice I did. My pick of these outstandingly light, perfectly made brioche style donuts was the peppermint crisp. I definitely exclaimed after I took my first bite at how good it was. I honestly didn’t think I would taste anything more amazing after that. I was wrong. The peppermint crisp chocolate brownie cookie sandwich (hello people, Morgan makes cookies out of chocolate brownie!) blew my mind. I had no words.
Our other talented brunch guest was the lovely Audrey from Extra Mile. Audrey provided the perfect counter balance to our sweet indulgences with her energizing and detoxifying, organic kombucha tea. As a lover of kombucha I was excited to try a new hand made variety. The good news about kombucha is that it is suitable for virtually anyone because it is free of wheat, dairy, preservatives and gluten. What’s left some may ask! Well, fermented tea goodness and probiotics in gorgeous flavours including Chai, Strawberry and of course Matcha from Matcha Maiden. My Chai kombucha was instantly refreshing and uplifting. I recommend it for when you want to reach for something sweet but don’t want to be unhealthy. I saved mine for the Monday post lunch slump and was so glad I did.
What about brunch? I am so glad you asked. We were treated to a generous 5 course-tasting menu that focused on quality ingredients and started with a mouthwatering mini wagyu beef burger. If you have been following my Insta account you will know my love for a burger and this juicy little number was a winner. Its daddy is on the regular menu for $19.90 and that would definitely be worth getting. The falafel skewers were out next and packed a good amount of heat. H&H make their own almond milk and the left over almond meal is used to make the falafels. Love that full use of the almonds. I also had a lotta love for the dukkah crusted chicken tenderloin with a kale salad. Two words: Tender. Flavourful.
From the nom-nom murmurings around the table I picked up that the New Zealand smoked salmon atop the corn & zucchini fritters was the dish of the day. The salmon was so smooth and clean with a perfect little disc of green goodness accompanying it. H&H finished us off with a sweet petite caramelized pineapple and passion fruit tartlet. These tartlets were super cute and would be a definite hit for a sneaky afternoon treat. Filter coffee was enjoyed by the caffeine addicted and I savoured the last of my peppermint tea before heading back out into the weather armed with a farewell gift of a bottle of house made raw almond milk and a sensational Bistro Morgan lemon meringue tart.
If you want to reward someone this is definitely the place to do it. Just get in early or book ahead for tables of 4 or more as there is already a lot of thanking going on in Ripponlea.
8-10 Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea
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