When Jason Chan starts talking about the burgeoning food and drink scene in Windsor of late, it’s a good idea to listen. The owner of Balaclava’s Batch Espresso and the clever mind behind West Winds Gin is highly encouraged by what he sees as a “raw and eclectic epicurean crowd”.
“There’s some really cool stuff opening on this side of town and it’s really bringing out the best of everyone.” With his newest cafe now four weeks in operation, Plenty Food is a shining addition to the bright new crop of Windsor eateries.
Dubbed ‘the new Batch’ by some members of Chan’s die-hard Balaclava clientele, Plenty admittedly shares a similar neighbourhood feel to its older sister, but despite the ten-year age gap, Chan insists it’s his youngest venture that’s “a little more grown up”.
Exorcising the cluttered riff-raff of the former vintage store, the light-filled interior is a pared-back exercise in industrial-inspired design with lofty ceilings, exposed concrete floors, galvanised steel structures and blonde wood furnishings. There’s an alfresco area out front and a quiet, sunny courtyard that’s close to completion. Inside, an Asian medicine cabinet is employed as a shelving unit for menus, newspapers and cutlery, while pots of purple flowers punctuate a wire grid feature on the white brick wall, showing off arrangements by long-time collaborator Joost Bakker who supplies both cafes with floral creations each week.
Headed by chef Darren Daley, the kitchen proffers a succinct but polished selection of breakfast, brunch and lunch options. Take the fruit pot – crumbled, dehydrated chocolate sponge cake made to look like soil, topped with fresh berries, fruit and a dollop of buffalo yoghurt – that’s playfully served in a ceramic flowerpot.
And if it didn’t catch your eye on the way in, take a moment to consider the custom-designed Slayer espresso machine at the front bar – a feat of engineering that churns out a deliberately modest offering of Coffee Supreme’s ‘South’ blend, with milk from Schulz Organic Farms.
Chan is hoping to commence dinner service by March and, by winter, open up the upstairs area with a cocktail bar and intimate space for private dinners and functions too.
78 Chapel Street, Windsor