The Lion and Buffalo


outdoor area

This cafe’s name suggests a savannah of wild beasts, but the only animal it celebrates is the rabbit. Lots and lots of rabbits.

Rabbits feature on the huge wall mural, designed and painted by local artist Fintan Magee. There are also small Polish porcelain rabbits throughout the cafe – some on the walls, others guarding the front door. They’re an homage to home for owner Anna Allison. She and her husband opened The Lion and the Buffalo in August 2015, naming it after their respective star signs, Leo and Taurus.

The menu is refined but affordable. Dishes such as the roasted-cauliflower salad (with toasted nuts and blood orange atop a sweet-potato puree) and 12-hour braised lamb represent the more concept-driven dishes. Allison’s Polish heritage is represented with locally made Polish sausage and the smoked-salmon plate.

Coffee is by Single O and Iggy’s is the bread of choice, but the Melbourne-based tea supplier remains a secret. The tightly bound rolls of tea leaves and flowers unfurl as soon as they’re placed in hot water.

The main table is an old workbench, and there’s wraparound seating facing the small park out the front.