05 Aug CH James, Fairfield
A little wander northwards to the Station St shopping strip brings us to CH James, only a short walk from Fairfield station. The cafe is named after Charles Henry James, a prolific community-minded businessman and entrepreneur in the 1880s who was local to the area.
The interior is light and bright and there’s a function room upstairs. An outdoor courtyard and garden runs alongside the building, providing dog-friendly tables.
Mini glasses of muesli, berry yoghurt and puffed rice kick off our breakfast before the main event. The new menu brings a number of Asian flavours to the table, with items such as okonomiyaki burgers, and buckwheat noodles with miso broth, master stock pork belly, daikon and edamame. There are still the more familiar dishes, like the zesty Smashed Avocado with crispy panko-crumbed egg, fetta, dukkah spice, garlic yoghurt and chilli oil.
I go for the Crumbed Ham Hock with pea panna cotta, fried egg, pork jus and croutons – a different take on ham and peas. The ham hock is moist and tender, and the crumb is suitably crunchy. There’s a bit of texture to the pea panna cotta, rather than being silky smooth. It’s a bit bland on its own, but when eaten with the ham (as it should) it provides the perfect counterpoint for the ham’s saltiness.
We share the eye-catching Buttermilk Hotcakes with mascarpone foam, citrus, pepita and black sesame praline. The fluffy and perfectly round hotcakes exhibit a slight crispiness on the outside, which is complemented by the crunch from the pepitas and black sesame praline. They’re not too sweet, and the addition of citrus is refreshing.
CH James is a cosy and comfortable place that brings some quality food to the cafe scene in Fairfield.
Disclaimer: I was invited to CH James as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
86 Station St
Fairfield, VIC, 3078
(03) 9486 3484