20 Aug Proud Sprout, Collingwood
8-week old Proud Sprout is where cafe dishes go to get a Nepalese and Sri Lankan twist, thanks to owners Karishma and Waseem. After opening Little Temper in Hawthorn, they’ve journeyed on to start up their second cafe in Collingwood, on the Southern end of Smith Street.
The interior is small and cosy, and there’s also a backyard outdoors space to enjoy. Bowls bought from the laneway markets of Kathmandu have been transformed into colourful pendant lights above the counter, adding extra splashes of vibrance to the space.
The menu shows Nepalese and Sri Lankan influences, with dishes containing spices and ingredients from these cuisines, sitting alongside the more usual brunch dishes. Karishma and Waseem, who grew up in Nepal and Sri Lanka respectively, are still passionate about the flavours of their homeland.
A range of healthier options graces the menu, including the Supercharged Zen Bowl with its tangy mix of of quinoa, zucchini noodles, edamame, spiced mashed pumpkin, sesame avocado, sauerkraut, Perino tomatoes and dukkah. The Wild Porridge of vanilla and chia is a textural delight of tender poached rhubarb, sweet raspberry coulis and crunchy granola crumbs. Wild Granola features berry and cacao granola, vanilla yoghurt, banana, apple, berries and honey, and isn’t as sweet as its description might make it sound.
The towering serve of Smashing Avocado comes with charred corn, Perino tomatoes, sumac, black sesame, snow pea tendrils and a poached egg. There’s a nice balance of zing from the feta and lemon, and sweetness from the corn.
Mushies and Polenta Cake consists of sauteed seasonal mushrooms, crumbled Meredith Dairy goats cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. The accompanying polenta cake wedges are smooth on the inside and crisp on the outside. The Rikshawala is a hearty dish. Cumin-seasoned cauliflower, slices of sujuk, diced potato and fried eggs are flavoured with chilli, yoghurt. It’s a meal full of flavour that goes well with the crispy roti paratha on the side.
Their Proud Frenchie uses brioche, which is then topped with espresso mascarpone, strawberries, pistachio crumb, and maple syrup. The touch of bitterness from the espresso helps balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Proud Sprout brings a breath of fresh air to this end of Smith Street. Keep an eye out for take-away lunch boxes and dinner service in the near future.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Proud Sprout as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
76 Smith St
Collingwood, VIC, 3066
(03) 9023 4781