I must admit I’m not a morning person at the best of times. I can barely utter a word without having a strong flat white to start the day. And after my first coffee goes down, the morning can finally get started and I can be sociable. Maybe that’s why breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day, because all good breakfasts come with coffee, right? After hearing rave reviews about Little Sunflower Café in Elwood, I made an early visit last week to try their breakfast menu.
Located in the heart of Elwood on Ormond Road, Little SunFlower Cafe has a small shop front with a cute bright yellow coloured door as an entrance. It’s the kind of café where you feel immediately at home upon entering; it’s light, bright and airy and, despite my morning coffee deprivation, I couldn’t help feeling happy and relaxed.
The owners, husband and wife team – Grant Waters and Angie Robertson really practise what they preach. “Sunflowers are nature’s gift of radiant warmth, they are the happiest of flowers, they represent cheerfulness and their symbolic meanings include healing, vitality & longevity”. says Angie. “They are unique in their ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy, an attribute, which mirrors the sun and its energy, provided by its heat and light.” And this happiness well and truly radiates throughout the place.
The café may be small (only fitting about 36 people) but it makes up for it in charm and personality. Early morning sunshine streams through the stained glass front window adding to its cosiness. It’s beautifully decorated with ocean blue and sunflower coloured cushions, vases full of blossoming flowers and even an impressive vertical garden full of 102 plants which towers above the communal table on the left. There’s also a few alfresco tables street side where you can hang out with your pooch.
Freshly baked pastries and cakes line the blonde timber counter. But my eyes instantly drift to the La Marzocco coffee machine churning out All Press coffee to caffeine hungry patrons. Grant is the coffee master and really knows how to whip up a quality brew.
With over a decade of hospitality experience under their belts, owners Grant and Angie established the café to showcase whole foods naturally. They pride themselves in supporting artisanal, seasonal, ethical and organic produce. It’s great to see a team that’s so passionate about what they do.
The all-day breakfast menu is well thought out by Angie (head chef), with a great range of sweet and savoury options available. Designed for the health conscious, there’s plenty of dishes on offer which are vegetarian or gluten and dairy free. What I love the most about the menu is their ‘nutritional guide’ which lists some of the health benefits of some of their favourite ingredients to work with – turmeric, kefir and chia seeds just to name a few. Expect some surprises on the menu like camu camu and bee pollen.
On the lighter side, there’s also a great range of smaller options like a chia banana and coconut pudding topped with brazil nuts and cocoa nibs and a rather delicious looking corn tortilla taco with black beans, sunny egg and avocado salsa. There’s also plenty of more substantial options like the sweet potato rosti with poached eggs, kale and kasundi. For drinks, there’s a great selection of cold press juices and super smoothies. No freak shakes here – thank goodness!
We started with the smashed avocado, goats cheese and poached egg ($14.90) on Dench bakery toasted grain sourdough: A little bowl of house made beetroot marmadale was the perfection companion – full of earthy, zesty tones to cut through the creaminess of the dish.
As soon as I saw the lemon, turmeric and quinoa pancakes ($15.90) on the menu I was instantly intrigued. Turmeric in pancakes? The pancakes were almost too pretty to eat, drizzled with edible flowers and a generous dollop of Pepa Saya mascarpone. The pancakes had a gorgeous orange colour and aroma from the turmeric, without overpowering it. Without the side of maple syrup the dish was quite savoury, but sweet tooths can easily add more of their delicious organic maple syrup. This is a perfect option for people who are allergic to gluten since they are made with quinoa flour.
Finally, a big bowl of warm black rice pudding ($14.50) served with coconut milk. The picture perfect bowl was deliciously comforting; the glutinous rice had a creamy texture with just a touch of sweetness. The addition of buckinis and coconut provided the pudding with a bit of added texture to accompany the fresh berries and banana.
For brunch goes who are interested in healthy options, I’d highly recommend a visit to the Little SunFlower Cafe.
Highlight – The black rice pudding. Low light – Limited seating at busy times.
Overall Rating 8/10 (Food 8/10, Service 9/10, Atmopshere 8/10, Value for Money 8/10).
A 15 Ormond Rd, Elwood VIC 3184
T (03) 9531 0399