After a stint at Yu?u, chef Yoshikazu Tanaka and his wife Sachi have set up their own, more casual eatery in Hawthorn. Tana Cafe brings Japanese-influenced cafe food to Hawthorn – which is a luckier community for it.
The menu includes some standard fare like bircher muesli and toast options for breakfast, but also a number of distinctly Japanese dishes, such as the veggie burger – slices of boiled egg, a potato patty, pastel green avocado mayo, cheese and vegetable trimmings all in a crispy bun. There’s Japanese-style potato salad, tamago (egg) sandwiches, and lunch box specials, which, alongside plenty of other savoury treats, comes with homemade miso soup.
As for beverages, be sure to order yourself a maccha latte to accompany your meal. The green tea twist on the conventional chai latte is an absolute flavour bomb. There are plenty of cakes to compliment a hot beverage, too – perhaps a brownie, intriguingly made with soy powder, will tempt you?
The space is small but warm and inviting. Children's books in both English and Japanese line the walls and a big round communal table invites you to exchange friendly greetings with your neighbours. This aura of friendliness, along with the wonderful food, is really what sets Tana Cafe apart.