Tom Dick & Harry
This small South Yarra cafe is great for quick weekday lunching and lazy weekend brunching.
Don't be fooled by the petite shopfront and narrow entryway — this new South Yarra cafe may be but tiny, but it's packing in some big flavours.
Perched near the busy corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street, Tom Dick & Harry has been busily cementing its status as one of the area's better coffee spots. Even if you haven't been in yet, social media has undoubtedly introduced you to their takeaway cups, which are stamped distinctively with the face of a French bulldog named Harry.
All day long, those cups — holding a well-handled Illy blend and boasting a nugget of homemade biscotti on the side —are sailing out of the cafe's street-side coffee nook. But delve in deeper and you'll find there's plenty more than just good coffee on offer.
For nine-to-fivers, the lunch cabinet is gold, brimming with the day's fresh mix-and-match salads ($8-14) and virtuous breakfasts-to-go. You might find a fruit-infused chia pudding ($8) or toasted muesli, layered with pear, orange blossom and vanilla bean yoghurt ($8). Less healthy, but every bit as Instagram-worthy, are the fresh-baked, big-as-your-head muffins, positioned craftily beside the coffee machine.
The pace slows a bit come the weekend, when the 2XU-clad crowd and inner city brunchers make their nests in the small rear dining area, curing hangovers, sharing newspapers and sipping on ginger, pear and lime tonics ($5.50). The eat-in menu is concise, and yet holds something for everyone, harnessing plenty of fresh flavours and hinting at some thoughtful kitchen minds behind the scenes. Build your own breakfast of eggs and sides, or opt for one of three tasty, all-day kitchen creations. For instance, white beans, crushed with lemon and a good dose of chilli, come piled atop toast, with grilled chorizo, blistered vine cherry tomatoes and a perfectly poached egg ($19.50).
Even more impressive is this cafe's version of Melbourne's perennial favourite: the avocado smash. Here, it's served on chia seed toast and surrounded by a riotous quinoa salad ($17.50). Diced zucchini, cauliflower, green beans, pomegranate, corn, currants, seeds and goats' cheese all play off each other for a lively, yet well-balanced breakfast creation that'll leave you feeling pretty damn good about yourself.
For lunch, there's some Asian-inspired brioche sliders, a big salad of miso glazed salmon and soba noodles, or the slightly more decadent, Harry's Reuben: a fat brioche bun holding thick slices of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and a housemade special sauce. With a side of with chilli-salted fries ($20.50) for good measure.
A modern fit-out, a bit of whitewash and some cheery staff have transformed a narrow, windowless space into an inviting little spot that’s just as great for quick weekday lunching as it is for lazy weekend brunching.