The family-friendly suburb of Bentleigh East isn't exactly booming in the breakfast business, but Astroluxe might be changing that. The odd kid out on dilapidated Chesterville Road, Astroluxe is delivering unpretentiously refined dishes for an area in dire need of fresh faces.
The interior is by design firm Robson Rak Architects, who — usually well-known for high-end residential work —have made this their first foray into hospitality. As such, Astroluxe features sleek, custom-designed steel lights that sit above the cafe's open kitchen, vintage woollen couches and upmarket marble benchtops, and bring the space together nicely. It's warm, yet polished, and there are plans for an outdoor garden in time for spring.
The menu itself reflects what co-owners Adam Nicholl and Stu and Tanya Billard enjoy eating. With a strong focus on local produce (meat and vegetables are sourced from the butcher and grocer on the same shopping strip) the offering incorporates a refreshingly mismatched range of flavours. American, Asian and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes all make cheeky appearances throughout.
The menu rotates seasonally, but at the moment highlights include a vibrant Asian soba noodle salad with sliced pan-fried flank steak, shredded cabbage, sprouts, basil, roasted macadamia nuts and a hint of chilli and lime ($19.50). For early morning sweet tooths, fluffy buttermilk pancakes with caramelised banana, French crème patisserie, raspberry, toasted coconut, pistachios, dark chocolate and honey cardamom syrup should more than satisfy ($18).
Coffee is by Five Senses and tea comes from Larsen & Thompson. Smoothies, plump milkshakes and a range of organic drinks are also on offer. Plus, Cobb Lane doughnuts on weekends means everyone will be kept astro-nomically happy.