02 Feb Mr & Mrs Anderson, Hawthorn
This was once Lalage Café, which proffered more Greek fare, but owners Roulla Saisanas and James Limneos wanted to do something more fresh and modern. They re-entered the brunch scene with Mr & Mrs Anderson, operating under a farm-to-plate structure and working with the Alexander the Great farm in Moe who supplies their herbs and vegetables.
The new fit out is filled with light, courtesy of their position on a corner block and liberal use of full-length windows. A boxed in seating area outside allows visitors to enjoy the weather, as well as a sense of privacy. White tiles intermingle with wooden panelling and hand-painted, baked tiles from Mexico, which add a splash of colour to the walls.
Chef Lasse “GD” Povlsen has worked at Three Bags Full, Attica, Circa the Prince and Cutler & Co, so you know you’re in experienced hands. They source bread from Woodfrog Bakery, coffee from Axil and pastries from Mayday’s new baking arm, Penny for Pound, who keep them stocked with cruffins, doughnuts and croissants. The pastries are popular, and much of it has been sold by the time we come in for a late lunch. We do manage to nab a matcha and strawberry cruffin, a delicious eat which unexpectedly has strawberry coulis bursting out together with the matcha custard filling inside.
The lunch menu starts at 10am and has a noticeably Asian slant to it. The Soft Shell Crab Burger is packed with flavour, and even just eating the brioche with the miso kewpie mayo alone, satisfies the tastebuds. Coming with the juicy crab is a fennel and cabbage kimchi, which provides an enjoyable sour and spicy note. Shrimp crackers, which are a bit oily, but still crunchy, come on the side.
Their Eggs Benedict consists of pressed slow-cooked pork shoulder and leek, sage hollandaise, two poached eggs and a topping of crispy fried sage. The creamy hollandaise has a deep yellow colour, and a more eggy flavour. The pork is moist, matching well with the tender leek. A dash more salt and this is a great, hearty feed.
A lighter option is the Smoked Salmon, coming with confit mushrooms, farm harvested vegetables, crushed peas, Parmesan, poached egg and walnut pesto. The dollops of crushed peas are well salted, and the walnut pesto is refreshing. There’s a whole lot of green on this plate, with its kale, broccolini, and sugar snaps, but it’s not lacking in flavour.
Their Poke Bowl has a different combination of ingredients from the norm. There are the usuals, like salmon, sesame, soy, brown rice, nori, pickled ginger and avocado, but it also has macadamia and white fungus. We love the crunch of the chopped macadamias, and the springiness of the fungus in the dish. Mixing all those sauces and ingredients together makes for a healthy and nutritious meal.
There aren’t too many sweet options on the menu, but the most popular one is the Caramelised White Chocolate Brioche. It’s smaller than expected, and more dense than fluffy, but the texture is broken up by a filling of raspberry coulis. Though the coulis is quite sweet, the accompanying raspberry sorbet is very refreshing and offsets the saccharinity. Candied walnuts give the dish extra crunch, contrasting with the white chocolate matcha truffles, which are almost cake-like. Although there’s not a lot of matcha flavour in the truffles, they do provide some interesting textures on the plate.
The cafe scene is a little quieter in this part of Hawthorn. Luckily there are plenty of intriguing things on the lunch menu to keep regulars entertained at Mr and Mrs Anderson.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Mr & Mrs Anderson as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Mr & Mrs Anderson
398 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East, VIC, 3123
(03) 9882 9888