The depth of cafes in Melbourne is only tested once a year. As deserving as the staff are of their holidays, what becomes of the patrons left behind? There is a lot of weight on the owner’s shoulders as they decide whether to open with a skeleton staff, potentially hurting the reputation of the cafe, and balance this decision with whether any of the regulars will actually be around.
This seems to be where economic theory comes to the fore and the balance of those able to open, with those taking a deserved holiday, is struck somewhere that sits well with me from a potential profit perspective. Hobba is one of those who were able to be open on this Friday in January when others down the road were not.
The quandary in checking out a new place at this time of year is whether it is going to provide a fair review. My answer is that if you are open you give it your best, and if you can’t, you close. Hobba was busy, but we were able to get a table for two straight away. There was absolutely nothing out of place, and the joint was purring over a normal Friday lunch.
My Pedro Burger was great. The Mexican spiced grilled chicken nicely cooked and tender, the coleslaw adding crunch and flavour, and the chipotle mayo especially delicious. Housed in a brioche bun that is not getting old on me anytime soon, the combination adds a bit of interest to what could otherwise have been just another burger. Catherine’s “Fowl Play” chicken sandwich in ciabatta bread was also good. Almost enough of a serving to share for smaller appetites, it will filled with avocado, cos lettuce and tasty cheese.
The warehouse building is airy and bright, holding a large cafe crowd. The service was good, even though the staff seemed to have a lot of tables to handle, and drinks (both alcoholic and not) arrived nice and quick.
Judging by the crowd here, and having eaten a good quality lunch while other nearby cafes were closed, I suggest Hobba’s owners got it right in opening.