Although the colour black is as synonymous with Melbourne as good coffee, Sarah Jane Whitfield wanted none of it in her new cafe, Fourth Chapter. Instead, the cafe (housed in the ex–Nourished 385 site on High Street) is bright, airy and covered in hanging plants.
It’s Sarah Jane’s fourth cafe – she also part-owns Trei in Glen Waverley, and recently sold Sardi and Muharam, both in Hawthorn. She’s joined in this latest venture by her sister, Jessica Whitfield, and Christian “Kik” Rocchi.
Rocchi – a carpenter – was hired by the Whitfield sisters to build Fourth Chapter, before coming on board as a partner.
Both Whitfields are trained chefs. Jessica, who was head chef at Sardi, has resumed the position at Fourth Chapter. Sarah Jane is overseeing front of house and general operations, although she has a hand in the menu.
It’s “mainly healthy, but with a few indulgences”, says Jessica. You can get an acai bowl; paleo toast with avocado and lemon; or “cacao pops” made with cacao-avocado mousse, coconut yoghurt, caramelised bananas and pear dust. Or you can opt for hotcakes, topped with passionfruit crème; peanut-butter waffles with salted caramel and grilled banana; or savoury French toast with eggs and Parmesan.
“We’re all about that balance,” says Rocchi. “You can come here hung-over for a burger, or you can come for a nourish bowl. Where the scales tip towards unhealthy, there’s a healthy option to balance it.”
For drinks, there are smoothies and kombucha; all the lattes (regular made with Niccolo coffee, plus golden, matcha and chai) with your choice of dairy, soy, coconut or almond milk; and T2 teas. There’s also a Sisko hot chocolate, complete with a gold-flecked, marshmallow-packed chocolate sphere that spins and melts when milk is poured over it.
Soon, the drinks list will include a small range of wine, beers and cocktails.
When the weather gets warmer, Fourth Chapter will start offering picnic baskets and rugs, so customers can eat in neighbouring Victoria Gardens.
385 High Street, Prahran
(03) 9510 2277
Mon to Fri, 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun, 8am–4pm