Painting a picture of the economy is something business journalists have to do regularly. As much as they might try to make these narratives relevant to the populace, generally it is something that the majority skip past when reading the paper. So, saying the number of smashed avos going around is one of the reasons first home buyers can’t afford their deposit, was always going to be more interesting than fundamental economics.
Obviously, the two have almost nothing to do with each other. Though when you venture out to the suburbs for lunch on a Wednesday, you don’t necessarily expect a full cafe that is turning over tables multiple times. Sure, Mr Hendricks has a great reputation, and while this is a sign of an affluent economy, I’m not going to draw the long bow that this means housing deposits are being overlooked for another smashed avo.
If you were to be neglecting your housing deposit for breakfast or lunch, I wouldn’t blame you for starting here, with an enticing menu, and a couple of single origins on hand. On the latter, I tried both single origins and they are expertly crafted, with distinctive flavour, sourced from Guatemala and Panama by Padre Coffee. Catherine had Greene St Juice Company’s “The Hamptons”, which is the first we’ve seen of this brand, but it is certainly worth sampling.
For lunch, I instantly was intrigued by the charcoal prawn roll and had no trouble in narrowing down my order, until I realised there are many other great options. The charcoal bun is more a gimmick to me than about adding flavour, but it does look cool. The prawns on the other hand, plump, juicy and fresh, on a cos leaf, plus some soft shell fried prawns on top, are abundant and delicious. The cubed celery, and apple, works well with a nice mayo bringing it all together. The fried prawns in their shell did add texture, but I must admit that a couple of them gave me a sting in the mouth!
Catherine ordered the fried buttermilk chicken brioche roll and I was close to having some menu envy. It was delicious, as fried chicken generally is, and the accompanying Asian slaw added to the flavour, with shredded cucumber, and slightly hot kewpie mayo finishing off the combination, all housed in a fluffy brioche bun. I enjoyed my multiple tastes.
We drove out to Mr Hendricks on a pretty depressing rainy day. Once we were inside, there was an instant warmth in the food, coffee and service, making it abundantly clear why this cafe has such a good wrap. It is completely worth the drive out to Balwyn if you are not a local.