The Lion and Buffalo
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. It includes dishes such as full-blood Wagyu beef strips with freshly grated wasabi, and roasted chickpea and cauliflower salad with beetroot hummus, haloumi, turmeric, toasted nuts and seeds. 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.