Words by Lisa Holmen, Photography by Christian Rocchi
Another week, another cafe opening in Melbourne. It’s surprising that so many cafes in Melbourne are constantly packed, but I guess that’s the joy of living in a city that’s obsessed with food. The latest all day brunch spot to hit Melbourne is the Fourth Chapter in Prahran. Last weekend I got up extra early and ventured there for breakfast before a shopping trip to the Prahran Market. After all, one should never go food shopping hungry…
The Fourth Chapter is located in a quiet end of the High Street, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Chapel Street. You can’t see much from the outside, but enter through the grand old entrance and you’ll find a beautifully converted space. At 8.30am the cafe is surprisingly quiet and we are ushered to a table in the front room by the friendly staff.
It’s another one of those “grammable spots” which are going to attract plenty of food bloggers standing on chairs trying to get the best flat lay of the table. High ceilings, plenty of natural light, greenery and carefully picked tableware definitely make it an incredibly handsome spot. There’s also a cute courtyard at the rear with gorgeous views of the neighbouring garden.
A large counter takes centre stage in the main room, home to their most important bit of machinery – the Strada coffee machine -which will no doubt churn out hundreds of coffees throughout the day. Don’t miss their display of treats in the cabinet, ranging from freshly baked croissants to decadent cakes and pastries.
The cafe is the brainchild of chef and owner Sarah Whitfield (Trei), number four in a successful series of cafes, hence the name the Fourth Chapter. And with the likes of Christian Rocchi (Proper Protein) and her sister Jessica joining her in the kitchen, no doubt this will be another recipe to success.
The all day breakfast menu is chock full of yummy treats, but be warned they don’t come cheap (some of the larger dishes are over $20). On the sweeter end of the spectrum, there’s the sumptuous hotcakes teamed with passionfruit crème, coyo ice cream and salted macadamias, and the peanut butter s’more waffle elegantly topped with salted caramel, grilled banana and marshmallow. Health conscious brunch goers will also be well looked after with the likes of ‘the bowl’ of brown rice, golden hommus, pickled cabbage, roast pumpkin, avocado, cherry tomatoes, kale and spicy peanut sauce.
It’s another menu where you want to order all of the above. There’s also a few extra dishes on the lunch menu (available from 11am) Next time I won’t be thinking twice about sinking my teeth into their Southern fried chicken bao or the pulled beef brisket cheeseburger in smoked brioche.
For breakfast, a must order is the Mexican take on the baked eggs, full of smoked chipotle, chunks of sweet potato, pancetta, avocado and charred corn. The dish is topped with blue corn tortillas and finished with a dollop of lemon labneh. It’s a comforting dish and oh so delicious. No bread but it’s so generous it doesn’t really need it.
A perfect winter warmer on the breakfast menu is the baked rhubarb, apple and blackberry porridge, which is guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out. Beautifully presented in a large white bowl, the poached fruits are sweet and tender, hiding under a thick, crunchy of rolled buckwheat and pistachios which provide a nice texture to the dish. It’s finished with a generous dollop of orange blossom labneh and a slice of candied orange. This dish does taste more like a crumble that an “oaty” porridge, but very yummy nonetheless!
If you’re into all the latest fad lattes like Matcha and Golden Lattes, you’ll love the drinks list here. As for me, I will stick to my standard latte thanks. I can’t wait to come back to try more of the menu.
FOURTH CHAPTER PRAHRAN
A 385 High Street, Prahran
T 0400 208 140