Montague Park Foodstore
Nestled in a quiet residential area in Albert Park, the striped awning of this quaint family run establishment signals a modest, homely approach, where the wholesome food is as warm as the service. Former Rockpool Chef, Andy De Niesse, and his wife Katherine are the proprietors, having bought the previous cafe to accommodate their family lifestyle. The experience of fine dining restaurants is an obvious influence on the menu, though it is served distinctly: simple and fresh.
Emphasis is placed on making everything from scratch. From the daily salads and exotic tapioca desserts, to the luscious homemade jams, sausages and pasta, the stamp of authenticity is a distinct imprint. Even the bread is baked on premise. The entire menu is seasonal, though Eastern favourites like the chicken Biriyani and chickpeas stay on, channeling Katherine's part Sri Lankan background. The owners maintain a close tie with their customers, working the floor and taking all necessary pains to ensure that the ship runs smoothly. For those inquisitive types, advice is available on the structure of the menu and on the age-old concept of breaking down and utilising the entire beast, snout to tail.
And lest we forget breakfast. Worth mentioning is the English favourite: crispy, fried black pudding. The usual suspects: Bircher muesli, fruit toast and granola have their place too, but savoury choices include slightly more unusual squashed tomatoes on toast with chilli, Spanish baked eggs that sit in a rich tomato sauce. For those who want it all, the Big Boys Breaky is a hungover no-brainer; with egg, bacon, hash brown, tomatoes, mushroom and the excellent, albeit unusual, addition of toast with jam.
With its communal familiarity, quality produce and a down-to-earth attitude, it's no wonder the locals keep coming back.