this delighful brunswick west cafe has been on my wishlist for quite some time and after working out that it was just a short detour off the citilink on our way back from an early airport run, we stopped in for a relaxed sunday brunch last week.
don’t be fooled by the location on the ground floor of an apartment complex on albion st in peaceful suburbia… you may still find yourself in for a short wait. this bustling cafe is a clear favourite with the locals!
the cafe has a laid-back interior with the design focusing predominantly on recycled material – most obvious on the main counter which is made entirely from pallets. there is a re-purposed easel housing the welcome board, a vibrant teal paint pattern along one wall which makes for an eye-catching feature, beautiful baked goods on offer at the front bench + plenty of other small features to catch your eye and make you feel like there is a lot of love + pride invested in this cafe.
lolo + wren have a variety of coffee available to suit all preferences: filtered, cold drip, cold brew, pour over, single origin + a 5 senses house blend. i went with a simple flat white: notes of a heavy + coating mouthfeel, rounded tastes of créme caramel, brown sugar + milk chocolate and a lingering aftertaste, this was a beautiful start to our meal.
banoffee porridge with caramelised banana, stewed dates, dulce de leche + toasted coconut crumble. this was the dish i have been dying to try + the crisp cool autumn morning was perfect for a comforting bowl of steaming oats. the thick coating of toasted coconut crumble brought back fond memories of my experience with posh porridge in christchurch nz, and paired perfectly with the soft creamy oats underneath. the spoonful of stewed dates + dulce de leche (click on the link if you’re not sure what dulche de leche is – it will have you drooling for your own bowl of this gooey goodness!). it didn’t let me down! this banoffee porridge is an absolute winner – with a monster-size serving that i tried my best (but failed) to make a decent dent in.
we were both obviously having a sweet-tooth morning, as husband opted for this amazing looking rustic pancake dish (i secretly think he has a mascarpone addiction because as soon as he sees any dish with mascarpone on the menu, he instantly knows what he’s ordering!). the pear had been baked into the top of the pancake giving the fresh slices of fruit a beautiful texture and extra juicy flavour. and the top crust of the pancakes also had a wonderful crunch to it compliments of the almond + walnuts. the subtle tartness of the compote married perfectly with the sweetness of the maple syrup + creaminess of the mascarpone – this was a match made in heaven.
in summary, there wasn’t much (if anything) to fault about our visit, and i think a revisit to try some of the savoury menu items on offer is now a must – i’ve got my eye on the ploughman’s brunch, sweetcorn + zucchini fritters and ‘the goodison’ breakfast! i also loved the credit given to the locally sourced and australian products on the last page of the menu.
service throughout the morning was friendly, authentic + genuine. i absolutely loved looking around and seeing families of all sizes + ages talking and laughing their way through what i consider to be the best meal of the day. without getting too mushy, there is something to be said about the happiness that comes from the magical combination of good food and good company.
verdict: oozes love + pride… and that banoffee porridge!!!