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A contemporary cafe triumph, whichever way you approach it.
By Laura Phillips
October 16, 2013
By Laura Phillips
October 16, 2013

The average Melburnian can spend more time in a cafe than in their lounge room. As such, a cafe should be designed to feel like a contemporary home. Hannah, the most recent addition to the Carlisle Street precinct, makes a fine lounge room substitute indeed.

Priding itself on a well-considered approach to coffee, food and interior design, its triumph in all three delivers a cafe to rival even the best found north of the river. Hannah's founder, Jason Bates, shows keen attention to detail. Vinyl records provide the soundtrack, while ferns pepper the interior. It's a cafe with character. The name, Hannah, was selected to personify the corner as friendly and intelligent. Like the cafe's street number on Chapel, 141, Hannah is a palindrome; accessible whichever way you approach it, the feeling is one that is carried on inside.

Hannah is a well-designed space with ceiling-high windows that cantilever open in the summertime, ensuring the dining area remains light filled and airy all year round. The stylish looking florist next door frames Hannah in greenery, not to mention giving the impression of a cool, well-perfumed setting for intimate meetings or social gatherings alike.

Hannah serves Proud Mary Coffee, which is juicy and full of flavour — just as it should be. No heavy, milky broth to be found here.

The menu is similarly distinct. The all day brunch features porridge with date jam and hazelnuts ($11) and coconut pancakes with pink peppered berries and vanilla mascarpone ($16.50), while lunch is a mouth-watering selection including the likes of smoked trout, cavolo nero, witlof, radicchio, poached egg and samphire salsa ($19) and octopus salad with silverbeet, watercress, purple congos, capers and marjoram salmoriglio ($18.50).

Hannah, recognisable from the street by its green tile facade is sure to grow into a new Balaclava hot spot. The structural pillar in the centre of the new cafe already has a leafy vine growing its way up to the roof — a good sign of Hannah's busy life ahead.

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