Hawk & Hunter Small Batch
8-10 Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea, VIC
03 9528 2719
Across the street from the palm tree-studded Ripponlea Railway Station, Hawk & Hunter brings a fashionable, family-friendly cafe to the area. Serving breakfast and lunch, Hawk & Hunter also sells a range of house-made products for those who aren't in the mood to cook. Delicious and healthy vacuum-packed meals, such as twelve-hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, are available to take away, as well as relishes and preserves.
The hodgepodge of wood grains, stains, and colours throughout the café introduce a playful atmosphere, as do the reinforced steel shelves that hang from the ceiling. These are adorned with everything from vintage glassware to plants growing in kitchen pots and pans. The 85-seat café was designed by Perrett Ewert Leaf who won the 2012 Melbourne Design Awards Interior Design in Hospitality for its work designing the café.
Featuring polished concrete floors, patches of exposed brickwork, and rustic tables on top of old wine barrels, the eclectic look matches the vibrant atmosphere at any time during the day – whether it’s the business fold catching a cup of coffee on their way to work, the mums who have just dropped the kids at school, or the lunch-time set, there is no rest for the Hawk & Hunter staff as they make everyone welcome in this community zone.
A collage of pages ripped from magazines and newspapers, created by a local artist, Madeline Grummet, features on a large mural in an alcove and both a wall construction and the café’s largest communal table are made out of recycled timber offcuts, created by local wood mason Ari Prasetya.
Open daily from 6:30am to 5pm, Hawk & Hunter uses beans from the sustainable Fair Trade, Melbourne-based roaster, Red Star Coffee. The café proudly displays a pretty blue La Marzocco espresso machine, and it is this eye for detail, from its knowledgeable staff to its trendy décor, that makes Hawk & Hunter really stand out.
Owned by the Tommy Collins Group hospitality collective, which also owns The Little Ox and Tommy Collins Events catering company, Hawk & Hunter’s staff are always happy to provide anything from high chairs, crayons, and colouring-in books, as well as to share intricate details about the food. The chefs source many of their ingredients from local businesses, including ProCal Dairies, Felices Place Gourmet Butchers, Noisette Bakery, and Savour & Grace, and they regularly go foraging in local gardens as well. Further, the café keeps bees on the roof, and it serves and sells this rooftop honey.
The menu offers a selection of egg dishes, sandwiches, salads, soups, entrées, and desserts. Alcoholic beverages are slated to be added soon. Many of the dishes draw upon Mexican culinary traditions, such as the Free-Range Boned Mexican Chicken, but this is far from an overarching theme. Case in point is the café’s signature dish, the Hawk & Hunter Crispy Falafels, which includes pickled vegetables, flatbread, hummus, pomegranate, and an egg.
“It is really special being a part of an area that is getting stronger and stronger and more renowned for its fresh produce,” says Ben Avramides, who, along with Luke Holt, Simon Winfield, and Tommy McIntosh, owns the Tommy Collins Group.