Melbourne's latest brunch darling takes the concept of cafe food to new heights.
Browsing the menu at the latest hottest new Melbourne cafe can sometimes bring on feelings of déjà vu, but that's far from the case at Armadale newcomer, Mammoth. The husband and wife duo you have to thank for favourites Barry and Touchwood have taken over the corner space that was once home to Treat, and are delivering yet another on-point offering to the hungry Melbourne masses.
Inside, it's light, bright and dapper, fresh with white paint, pale timber furniture and soaring ceilings, thanks to Melbourne architecture and interior design studio, Techn?. But while it's definitely somewhere you'd be happy to spend a morning, it's the food that you'll be travelling across town for. The owners have enlisted the skills of Emma Jeffrey (ex Hammer & Tong) behind the pans and the result is a nifty, technique-driven menu that's the complete opposite of boring.
The kitchen's talent for artful plating is one to be reckoned with, and while you'll find some semblance of your favourite cafe dishes, they've been elevated to bold new heights. Here, dusts and ferments make many an appearance, a sugared and spiced donut takes the place of a burger bun, and avocado stars in a pumpkin seed hummus, in lieu of the ubiquitous smash.
A play on that most divisive of fruit-and-meat combos, the tropical North Shore ($20) could win anyone over. Here, the ham comes in the form of a neat tower of smokey pork hock, and the pineapple, a grilled ring of sticky sweetness. A crisp jalapeno popper lends heat, while a pair of expertly poached eggs help to up the breakfast vibe.
Sitting just as pretty is a spanner crab crepe ($24) — the outer, light, fluffy and squid ink black, is wrapped around a mix of crab meat, punchy Asian herbs and bean shoots. Beside it, an orb of zingy lemon sorbet further freshens the deal.
If all those honest flavours have you feeling clean and lean, you can team them with a pressed green juice ($9.50) or coconut water ($5), although well-handled Five Senses coffee makes a solid case for any caffeine-lover's affections.
Sure, this menu isn't one you'd want to tackle hungover — but save it for a civilised weekend brunch when you’re feeling sprightly and adventurous, and you're sure to walk away impressed.
Image credit: Tom Blachford
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14 Beatty Avenue, Armadale