it’s not often that i walk away from brunch at a new place having felt like i’ve made new friends. but this is exactly how i felt a couple of weeks ago, after having brunch at mallalieu boutique + artisan deli in auburn village. i’m convinced that there is just something special about this place!
first off… is the super lovely mother + daughter pair who are owner/operators of mallalieu. whether you’re greeted by kathy behind the boutique counter, or daughter hannah from behind the coffee machine, these ladies know how to make every guest feel special – as if they’ve welcomed you into their own home.
secondly… is the gorgeous venue. i’ve not seen many store/cafe combinations executed well, but these ladies have got this one just right! from the moment you step into the clothing, accessories and homewares store at the front of the building, to making your way through to the leafy private courtyard out the back, there is a congruent sophisticated/french style that flows throughout. every item has been carefully curated… from the scarves and necklaces, right through to the artisan cheeses and butters in the deli.
thirdly… is the focus on high-quality ingredients served through a simple and well-executed menu. “the food is wholesome and satisfying with a strong emphasis on fresh seasonal produce”. each day the specials are lovingly hand-written and attached to each menu, which include classics like smashed avocado and shakshuka as well as a delectable “mallalieu board” (cheeses with duck, pistachio + green pepper terrine, fig + walnut rolado, cornichons, olives, salad + baguette) and ‘mushroom + venison salami omelette’.
croque madame french-style grilled ham + comte cheese on fresh sourdough with mustard + bechamel topped with a fried egg
i just couldn’t resist this french classic with its strong flavours and well-executed fresh ingredients – this was a gorgeous, gooey reminder of my recent time in france. yum.
pikelet stack with raspberry + rhubarb compote, pistachios + pepe saya mascarpone
for something sweet, we opted for the pikelet stack. visually, it may not be much, but the flavour-combination was comforting and sweet (but not too sweet). besides not much beats a raspberry + rhubarb compote. i would’ve loved the pistachios to be more prominent, and perhaps a touch more finesse on the presentation, but apart from that it was a humble + delicious dish.
mallalieu serve one inch death punch by third wave coffee blend, a small but local roaster. as well as that there is a great selection of teas, chai + hot chocolate.
what mallalieu lacks in space, it makes up for with cosy corners and sun-basked private courtyards, which coincidentally benefits from neighbour pedro’s musical selection of the day (who needs a cd player when you have a resident musician next door?). but it is the love and care from kathy + hannah that really shines through in every facet of the store, and i felt so at home in their pride and joy. needless to say, i couldn’t resist a few purchases from the store on my way out… the temptation was too great and the necklaces too gorgeous!
verdict: one special place!