18 Jul Horse on Heels, Fitzroy
Waffles are making an appearance in cafes all over Melbourne, but not many places can claim to specialise in waffles. Sweet options are aplenty, but how about savoury ones? Not too easy to come by. Enter Horse on Heels, where we can now find both of these things. It has nondescript frontage, at least for now, but look out for the black-gated entrance of the brown brick Graham Engineering Co workshop, and you’ll soon find yourself in a waffle oasis.
The three owners, all being born in the year of the horse according to the Chinese zodiac, began their journey at The Waffle Club in Queen Vic markets. Three years on, and the idea of having a permanent place where people can sit down to enjoy waffles and coffee has finally taken shape.
Apart from Five Senses and single origin coffee, Horse on Heels offers a range of teas, hot chocolate and lattes. Sweet, mini stroopwafels grace the plate alongside our drinks. Popular in Asian cuisine, in Melbourne taro hasn’t quite made much of an appearance outside of Asian restaurants. Here, the latte has a soft purple colour and pleasant flavour, and is sweeter than the more bitter matcha latte.
Waffle flavour combinations are constantly being experimented on, and existing ones refined. There’s a variety of waffles used as the base, including the more traditional Belgian Liege, and inventive infusions like pandan, coconut charcoal and flax seed. Some of the toppings lean towards Asian flavours such as kaya and shiitake, but there’s much to choose from. You can even get your big breakfast fix, complete with sausage, eggs, beans and bacon beside a waffle instead of bread.
A bit of east meets west comes in the form of the popcorn chicken waffle. The popcorn chicken sits alongside caramel popcorn, livened up with pickled kale and chimichurri aioli. The recipe for the black charcoal coconut waffle batter has recently been tweaked to make it less sweet, and there’s a good balance between the crunchy, savoury chicken and the caramel. Pickled kale provides extra interest and refreshing relief.
Another savoury option is the pulled beef with watercress, apple beetroot relish and mixed yam chips. There’s a subtle sweetness in the flax seed waffle, which complements the hard hitting, flavoursome and juicy beef. The apple beetroot relish, and hints of chilli in the beef work to elevate the flavours.
On the sweeter side is one that sounds like a typical breakfast dish, but on a waffle. The Autumn fruits waffle includes coconut chia pudding, acai, granola, maple syrup, and a scattering of goji berries. The Belgian liege waffle is the sweetest out of the three types we try, and the dish as a whole is colourful and refreshing.
Haven’t had savoury waffles before? Now’s your chance – both sweet and savoury options satisfy. Gallop into Horse on Heels before the race is on to get hold of a seat.
Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Horse on Heels. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and based on my experience at the time of the visit