Leave your passports at the door: Reunion & Co. is a truly local cafe.
Every element that appears on your plate has travelled no further than the farms of the state, ensuring that you’re only eating the freshest – and best – produce of the day.
Owners, Darian Szyszka and Nicole Hateley, boast a strong commitment to ethical farming and traceability, focusing on Victorian suppliers from the day their cafe threw open its doors. With an additional emphasis on making as much produce in-house, including churning butter, baking bread, curing trout and stuffing pork sausages, they are ensuring that you know just where each dish has come from.
The unlikely pair met working at a project management firm, and immediately connected over their love for architecture, food and coffee. After months of discussing ideas and concepts, they found an old corner store on Bridge Road and knew immediately that it could bring their vision to life. Their gut instinct turned out to be right on more than one level: 100 years earlier, the building had been home to the Union Cafe, linking perfectly with their idea of creating a space where people could reconnect and ‘reunite’. Hence, Reunion & Co. was born.
Head Chef, Gilly Singh, formerly of Top Paddock and Kettle Black, joins Darian and Nicole in sourcing only the best produce from nearby. Meats are all free- range and ethically farmed, supplied by Victorian farmers as well as purveyors Vic Meats and Ocean Made. Fruit and vegetables come from nearby patches of farmland, with the menu changing seasonally to reflect what’s on offer. Even the coffee is locally sourced: Collingwood’s Allpress supplies the beans.
You’ll see why all this matters when you take your first bite. Breakfast buffs will love the bircher muesli soaked in coconut milk, poached pear, pistachio, strawberry and lemon balm, which boasts a different flavour with each spoonful. Meanwhile, the brioche French toast with confit pear, nectarine, mascarpone, salted caramel sauce and a hazelnut toffee crumb is one of the prettiest dishes you’ll ever have the pleasure of sticking your fork into.
The pressed ham hock with truffled cauliflower, turmeric kewpee, smoky bacon jus and a fried egg, puts the kitchen team’s skills on full display, as does the local shiitake and King Brown mushrooms on olive bread with aged pecorino cheese, crispy jamón and a poached egg.
The all day breakfast and lunch menu means you can have eggs at 2pm or a gourmet bagel at 10am. The pressed lamb shoulder on house-made flat bread with fennel barley, beetroot relish and spiced labne is a standout, but it’s hard to go past a classic New Yorker bagel, smeared with Philly cream cheese and topped with house-cured salmon and a squeeze of lime. If you’re after something sweet, there’s a range of freshly baked cakes, muffins and pastries that are sure to sate even the staunchest of sweet tooths.
Victoria’s bountiful produce is front and centre at Reunion & Co.. With such a focus on ethical farming and traceability, it’s the ideal spot to celebrate just how lucky we are when it comes to fantastic fare.