Milk Haus, a wholefoods farm-to-table canteen in an old cheese factory off the beaten track, is not only one of the best cafes on the South Coast. It’s one of the best cafes, full stop.
Owner Danielle McKeon, who was behind Canberra cafes such as A Bite to Eat and Cafe D’Lish, has established a serious kitchen garden, growing enough greens, herbs, apples, pumpkins, beans and fresh eggs to service her ultra-organic menu. Anything she can’t grow herself, she sources from local producers such as Bliss Honey from Mossy Point and sauerkraut from the Merry Maidens in Milton.
McKeon’s cooking champions farm-style dishes that are both comforting and (mostly) good for you. The menu changes with the seasons, but past hits include a steamed-eggplant breakfast bowl with tahini yoghurt, toasted almonds, coriander and medjool dates; baked pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi with sage, toasted hazelnuts and burnt butter; and honey-baked pear with cinnamon, rye and oat crumble.
The space consists of blond wood benches, whitewashed walls, a wood-burning stove and jars of marmalade and pickles. And there’s a raised sunroom that catches the daylight as it moves across the hillsides.
While plenty of chefs talk a great game on “produce-driven cuisine”, at Milk Haus you can see the evidence of that philosophy before you get in the door. McKeon’s food doesn’t need hashtags or gimmicks to be exciting: real country cooking always has been.