Located on Barkers road, Replete Providore is aimed at the local neighbourhood market rather than the indie folk following the hip cafe scene. Nonetheless, this cafe does not disappoint when it comes to the adorable fit out or the food. I need to be honest with my loyal readers and say that we started this eating adventure on an unpleasant note.
I don’t want to delve too much into the negative and take credit away from this nearly-excellent cafe. We did have some minor issues at the start when our booking was double booked and the waiter, who had his nickers in a knot, then had a small heated discussion with one of my fellow diners. The service was very slow – menus, coffees and food. But I had great company and the food was super. The good outweighed the bad.
The dining area at the front can be rather confined and there is minimal outdoor seating, or there is a room at the rear, (not featured) as alternatives. This front room was well lit with natural light and I would suggest this as the best environment for your Replete experience. You can expect regular clutter and noise from the featured dining space. I always like to sit where the action is.
Soy latte ($3.80). We kind of felt like our coffee orders got lost in the mail or something. Waited over the acceptable time for these and did have to nudge one of the waiters politely to check on them. Once it arrived, it was really good (as you would hope if it took so long). My latte was creamy, at good temperature and perfect head – nothing like a good head.
Ricotta hotcakes with Replete lemon curd and fresh strawberries ($15.50). These look decadent, and they probably don’t help the hips but they were so light and fluffy that it didn’t seem like you were pigging out! One particular chommer said the hotcakes tasted even better than when she visited 18 months prior. The lemon curd (lemon butter) worked excellently as a spread for each cake. Order these!
A traditional Swiss style bircher muesli ($11.00). This bircher was definitely more milky than most birchers and was not anything special. My friend found it lacking in noticeable oat flakes, which some may find appealing. Perhaps the muesli trifle (which looks epic in pictures) with fruit would be a suitable alternative.
Two english muffins with Replete fritters, spinach, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce ($15.50). You can put anything on an old school English muffin and it will taste good. A delicious option that worked well to cure the Sunday hangover. The dish speaks for itself, very order-again-able. I must say, how bloody fine is hollandaise sauce?
Replete corn fritters with smoked salmon and a poached egg and a tomato chilli relish ($16.50). These were seriously delicious and will not be forgotten for a while. A fabulous mixture of corn, zucchini and feta was used to develop this stack. I especially admired how these held their shape so well, even though they were only lightly pan fried. Once you add some fresh salmon and a perfectly poached egg you are in eating nirvana. A chommery approved suggestion would be to order the fritters and the hot cakes. Divide that all up between two hungry chommers.
It truly was an amazing turn around in our customer satisfaction levels from the start of this experience to the end. After the complications that took place at the start of our visit and the overall average service that continued throughout, we all left with smiles on our faces. Pretty unbelievable, but true. We almost got up to leave within the first 15 minutes of the visit and now I am trying to find more friends to go back again. A big change in heart. Fingers crossed, the service on that Sunday was having an off morning – which can happen. They are only human. I believe that Replete Providore is well worth seeking out if you love your food as much as we do at The Chommery.
The Important Details…
Noise: Regular cafe buzz
Bookings: You can and we did
Suitable for: All
Dress: It’s a cafe. Chilled.
Price: $15 – $25 per head
My View: Average service outweighed by excellent food and top company
Address: 302 Barkers Road, Hawthorn
Phone: (03) 9818 4448