Dignified weekend lunch/brunch spot with charming atmosphere, great food and coffee
What we ate:
Cherry tomato, broccoli and gorgonzola tartPulled pork belly sandwich on sourdough with Asian zucchini slaw and chilli jamRhubarb and polenta cakeCarrot cake
Open and airy, with a kitchen that is effectively in the middle of the café, Outpost is like a large country kitchen churning out goodness aplenty. Most of the food (tarts, baguettes and sandwiches) is on display for punters to pick and choose from, and freshly baked bread being pulled out of the oven regularly adds to the charm.
The menu features lots of ‘special name’ produce (the name dropping of the culinary world) and focussed on fresh flavours and combinations. Our friendly waitress was quick with the coffees, which were bold and flavoursome (though unsurprisingly so, given the St Ali heritage). Choosing from the menu, TFG suffered from a bit of ‘kid in candy store’ syndrome – we suspect that any number of the options would have been excellent. We finally settled on a gorgonzola, broccoli and cherry tomato tart:
And the pulled pork belly sandwich with Asian zucchini slaw:
Firstly, the tart. Sweet happiness. It’s a mark of a great café when the even the accompanying salad is a highlight (crisp, super fresh greens with an amazing mustard dressing) and you dedicate a significant portion of your time trying to scrape morsels of dressing from the plate. The tart itself was also a hero dish. The crust was perfectly crumbly, and the gorgonzola, cherry tomatoes and broccoli was a marriage of the league of Hugh Hefner and his two anonymous blonde tarts.
The sandwich, whilst a tad more expensive than your average sambo ($20 for meat between bread could be considered a bit steep by many), was outstanding. The pork belly was tender and perfectly flavoured with chilli jam (not overpowering at all), the bread crusty and fresh, and the slaw complemented perfectly.
We finished up with two little cakes to take away – a carrot cake (a dense little number but still carroty enough to optimistically tag as ‘healthy’) and a rhubarb and polenta (a nice idea in theory but probably a tad on the grainy side). All in all, a great experience – probably more expensive than you’d normally pay for comparable menu items elsewhere, but the quality of produce and spot on flavour combinations made it well worth every cent.
Food – 8/10
Value – 2.5/5
Service – 3.5/5
Total - 14/20
9 Yarra Street, South Yarra