The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Melbourne
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Pawa Cafe & Bar

Drop by for lilly pilly croissants, roo meat pies and native-leaning grazing boards, paired with the team's own signature gin.
By Libby Curran
March 22, 2023
By Libby Curran
March 22, 2023

Hamer Hall's culinary offering has scored a major boost with the arrival of Pawa Cafe and Bar, a new all-day eatery heroing sustainably produced indigenous ingredients. Named for a Gunditjmara word meaning 'to cook', it's the brainchild of a husband and wife duo: Gunditjmara and Yuin culinary entrepreneur Niyoka Bundle, plus Head Chef Vincent Manning.

A permanent home for the pair's Pawa Catering brand, the venue is serving up a fresh take on modern Australian cuisine — not only celebrating native ingredients, but working closely with farmers and foragers that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices.

Bundle's inspiration comes both from the classic Aussie comfort food of her youth, and childhood camping trips spent hunting animals like emu and kangaroo. Expect Indigenous flavours with a twist of nostalgia and a good whack of creativity.

By day, Pawa plates up a cafe-style offering featuring Seven Seeds coffee alongside the likes of strawberry gum brownies, lilly pilly croissants and roo meat pies. Drop by later for grazing platters loaded with native additions like red wine kangaroo salami, paired with Victorian vino and cocktails made on Pawa's own Taka Gin — a drop infused with native lemongrass and lemon-scented gum leaf.

There's plenty of innovation on show along the way, from the use of lilly pilly as a tart sweetener to the substitution of saltbush or warrigal greens for salt. And you'll find scores of local suppliers championed throughout the menu, with offerings from the likes of Cobb Lane, Home Grown Cocktails and The Everleigh Bottling Co.

Images: Jake Roden.

  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel