IN TUNE WITH NATURE
FILLING LOCAL TUMMIES WITH NUTRIENT-PACKED FOOD, SERVED IN A SUSTAINABLE FASHION, IS A CHALLENGE VILLAGE CAFE ON COLLINS HAS RISEN TO.
Passion. It is a word bandied about by restaurant owners attempting to show customers how much they care about what is on their plate. In many cases they are indeed passionate in an all-encompassing way, eg. “I really hope you like what we are offering.”
Sometimes it is a survivalist notion. “If you do enjoy your meal you are more likely to return and to recommend us to others.” Occasionally it is altruistic. I believe the motivation behind Village Cafe on Collins falls into this category. Cynics may think it’s a gimmick, but there is a lot of eco info on their website you wouldn’t normally bother with unless it was your obsession. One snippet states: “Village Café on Collins is our opportunity to marry hospitality with a sincere desire to see businesses and the community take notice of the need for all of us to make a greater effort in our day-to-day practices to preserve the wonderful environment in which we live (and our planet for future generations).”
They then walk the talk, using sustainable take-away containers (no plastics) and keep the shop mantra, “rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, respect”, flowing in words and practice across the business.
Shopping locally, the owners Mark and Caroline also claim, “We enjoy the relationships we have with our primary producers and purveyors and support the ethical treatment of their animals and sustainable practices they have adopted.”
You’re getting the drift. But what you really want to know is, what’s the food like? The short answer is, very good. Home alone for the weekend with son number two, we take the opportunity to head out for Sunday brunch.
It appears other parents have the same idea, with no shortage of young patrons sitting at tables staring into screens. That’s quality family time for you, but we’ve all done it in the desperate quest for a quiet life.
Kids’ pancakes with blueberries, maple syrup and vanilla yoghurt is a substantial heartstarter for the lad. Throw in a hot chocolate and he’s set for the afternoon.
I’ve opted for the lunch special of zucchini and leek fritters with smoked salmon (no skimping here), capers, roquette and red currant crème fraiche.
We share a forkful of each and agree both are quality. We suspect his blueberries are of the frozen packet variety rather than fresh, but that doesn’t detract from the stack of thick fluffy pikelet-sized pancakes.
There’s a short wait as dishes are individually prepared, suggesting no shortcuts and the presentation of both dishes is alluring.
Excellent Sipping Duck coffee tops off a charming experience.
There’s a short well-priced wine list, along with beers, for those with a leisurely day ahead of them. One dictionary definition of passion is, “boundless enthusiasm”.
Yes, I’d say these guys are passionate about their venture.