This Brunswick cafe has a menu that will make even the most adventurous diner stand to attention
Small Axe Kitchen’s innovative menu.
THIS is the best way to start your day. Trust me.
Don’t get waylaid by the virtuous citrus salad, the organic toast, or the avo with pepitas and pickled fennel. Don’t toy with ordering the grilled brioche with espresso mousse, or flirt with the smoked eggplant and almond hummus. Walk right by the warm chestnut rice pudding with figs, prunes and almonds.
It will be hard, for each of these dishes deserve your attention as they are some of the most interesting plates found on any cafe menu right now.
But resist them all and order instead the meatballs, and the fried scamorza sandwich.
You’ll be served a little pot bubbling hot from the oven filled with hefty meatballs studded with pine nuts and swimming in sugo. Its arresting flavour is only enhanced once the slow-cooked egg atop bursts its sunshine-sauce over the lot. A grating of pecorino, and a thick, buttered slice of toast, and you have a dish that’s a win on its own.
But if you take the bread-crumb-covered sandwich fried to a deeply tanned crunch and filled with molten, stringy scamorza cheese, then dip it into that meatbally pot, you have a dish that’s a win for us all. You’re welcome.
This is Small Axe Kitchen, chef/ owner Adam Pruckner’s simple and stylish Brunswick cafe where there’s geraniums and hanging bulbs out the back, alfresco communal dining out front in the sun, Code Black coffee in the grinder, negronis mixed behind the bar and Sicilian dishes cooked with a Melbourne accent.
To wit: a breakfast pasta, where Sicilian macaroni is tossed through slices of rich guanciale (cured pork jowl), with tiny peas and torn mint for fresh colour, while a grating of ricotta salata adds cheesy goodness to an egg’s yolky richness. It’s tradition with a modern twist and another perfect way to start the day.
From top: meatballs, chef/ owner Adam Pruckner, and the breakfast pasta.