24 Apr Prospect Espresso, Camberwell
Now part of the group that includes Addict, Liar Liar and Sir Charles, Prospect Espresso has been steadily gaining ground as a Camberwell favourite. There’s plenty of exposed brick and wood featured in the interior, giving it a more of a homely vibe than many new cafes of late. In recent years, the large communal table and window benches have been removed, making way for more small tables, and allowing for more natural light to fill the small cafe.
Coffee beans and cakes are sourced from Au79, the group’s brand new flagship cafe. The Smoked Beef Brisket Reuben is a thing of beauty. The dijonnaise brings a slight tang to the sandwich, as does the pickled cabbage, which also adds freshness. The brisket is chunky and smokey, the molten Jack cheese melding beef and toasted dark rye together into a tasty and hearty feed.
The Bubble and Squeak Hash Stack comes with a smooth potato hash that’s slightly crispy on the outside, a tangy tomato relish and dijonnaise, and rivers of yolk flowing from the poached egg. The House Dill and Citrus Cured Trout is a colourful and pretty plate of sliced and twirled trout, grilled asparagus, a spoonful of smashed avocado, radish, beetroot goats cheese curd and poached egg. It’s a fresh and lighter alternative for brunch.
The Corny is one of Prospect Espresso’s more popular dishes. The plump corn and halloumi fritters are fluffy on the inside, and accompanied by a roasted garlic hummus, quinoa and cauliflower mix, and even more halloumi, in the form of small grilled pieces. Cranberries add in a bit of sweetness and zing to the heavier nature of the fritters and cheese, and the poached eggs helps to tie things together. I’m not big on fritters, but these win me over.
Coming to the sweets, there’s a few options to suit different types of dessert fans. The Nutella mascarpone is rich and chocolately, as you’d expect, and the vibrance of the citrus and raspberries helps to break it up. The toast itself is nice and moist, the matcha soil and hazelnut crumble contributing texture. This is my type of French toast.
Strawberry Lamington Hotcakes are topped with vanilla mascarpone. White chocolate crumble, toasted almonds and fresh berries are scattered around the plate, and a pool of strawberry coulis can be found underneath. The large hotcake is fat and fluffy, the crumb a little like a light cake, and it’s not overly sweet in itself. For those who are curious, the hotcake is pink on the inside too, not white like a pink lamington. As with the French toast, there’s a nice balance and variety of textures, and there are flavour elements which prevent it from being one-dimensional.
I’m more substance over style when it comes to food – in the end it’s flavour that matters right? Prospect Espresso definitely has Insta-worthy dishes in its current repertoire, but thankfully the dishes here satisfy both the palate and the eye. It’s a cafe that I’d gladly return to.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Prospect Espresso as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
2A Prospect Hill Rd
Camberwell, VIC, 3124
(03) 9882 7359