Address: 25 McDonald St, Sandringham
Herald Rating:

The look

of this cafe run by a charitable collective near the Morningside railway tracks, is seriously cool - retro furniture sits happily among industrial fittings, there are interesting found objects dotted about, including vintage record players stuck to the wall and displays of stainless steel coffee pots. Best of all is a revolving display of local art for sale.

The menu is definitely interesting and ranges from rice pudding to a carbless Thai salad. My brunchmate lured me here on the strength of the brioche french toast ($16), with caramelised banana, maple and berries and mascarpone which he swore was to die for (he was right). We also ordered folded eggs (basically an omelette with sauteed spinach in sage butter, caramelised white balsamic onion jam and feta, $13.50), and the open chicken sandwich of grilled chicken, toasted pide, seasonal salad and manuka-smoked bacon ($16).

The food is very good - the portions are large and full of interesting ingredients and flavours. The french toast was so pretty it was almost a work of art and it was nice discovering the caramelised onion jam tucked inside the eggs. The chicken was tender and, paired with the salty, smoky bacon, was just what we felt like.

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The coffee is Supreme, served very hot, creamy and strong.

The service fits the ethos of this community-minded place, and is friendly and efficient.

Overall we really liked Crave's style - including the nods to the area, such as the Morningsides, the Morningsliders and various dishes named after surrounding streets. We were impressed with the food, the atmosphere and the people running the show. It is worth noting, however, that the kitchen shuts at 2pm, so don't dilly-dally if you're heading there for more than brunch or you might miss out - and that would be a shame indeed.