Home Dining Room

July 1, 2011

601 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
Note: unfortunately, Home Dining Room has closed since this post was written.

Ok, it’s official. I love Home Dining Room. I read about it in the Age Cheap Eats Guide, which has an unsurprisingly thin chapter for the Hawthorn/Kew area, but this was one of the few cafes that featured.

The staff were really friendly right from the moment we walked in; I hadn’t had such a warm welcome into a cafe in ages, and they spent most of their time cracking jokes and offering helpful tips about the food. Home Dining Room has a very casual, welcoming, dare I say homely feel to it, which is a pleasant change to all the other new-age designer cafes springing up. Also unlike many other cafes in Hawthorn, this place wasn’t too busy, which was pleasant – I’m quite sick of having to wait 20 minutes or needing to make a booking for brunch. The fit-out is particularly homely, there are some attractively laden shelves behind the counter and a dessert menu that boasts dishes such at Eton mess and Affogato.

I thought the table decorations were quite cute, a stack of books with a small bunch of flowers. The books on our table were all about the geography of New Zealand. At one table by the window a man and his young daughter were playing Scrabble.
A had his usual hot chocolate, which he declared to be “good”. When asked if it was strong enough, he said “yeah pretty much, although everywhere I’ve been, I’ve never had a hot chocolate that was strong enough. Und zat iz why I vant to go to Germany”. And I’m sure they sell them in mugs like this in Germany too.

My latte was fantastic, and coffees (and hot chocolates) were free with any breakfast on the day we went, so the whole meal came up to roughly $30, nice.

Aside from what we ordered, there were a lot of yummy sounding meals on the menu, and I’m already planning to return to try a few more.
Bruschetta w smashed avo, roast tomatoes, goats cheese + Dukkah.
Corn fritters w roast tomato, spiced goats cheese + bacon (add a poached egg?).
Home toastie w gruyere, seeded mustard + leg ham (yes please).

A chose a sweet dish, the ricotta hot-cakes with ginger spiked pears and butterscotch sauce. A sunny stack of fluffy hot-cakes appeared a short time later.  He said it was very good, rich but tolerable. He also took this great photo with the sunlight reflecting off one side of the pear.
I had the rosti with poached eggs, crispy prosciutto and chili jam, which was fantastic. I think this’d be a great hangover cure dish, if instead of spending the night before studying, I’d been drinking (if only). The chili jam was what made the dish for me, it worked really well with the eggs and the salty prosciutto, and the rosti were a nice change from toast, even though they didn’t hold together very well – not enough egg in the mixture, evidently.

Yeah baby…

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Filed under: Brunch, Coffee, Hawthorn