Fo0die dined as a guest of Chaplain’s Office and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Located not too far from Glenferrie train station and near Swinburne University, the venue has been opened since early July 2017 and operates out of, what use to be, an old office behind St. Columbs Anglican Church.
Chaplain’s Office, which we think is very appropriately named, actually came from one of the wedding photos from the owner’s February wedding, where the words appeared in the background.
We visited the venue on a Saturday morning before heading off to a cousin’s wedding and found parking on the actual street which is normally 1P Monday to Friday. Coincidentally, the church also had a wedding the day we dined and when the guests came out of the church for tea and coffee catered by Chaplain’s Office, we felt like we blended right in.
The venue has a different vibe to other cafes that we have been to. Located right next to a church with a lawn space in-between the venue and the church, the interior of the cafe is best described as simplistic and rustic.
The venue has two entries which are both accessible from St Columbs Street, through the barn style doors which lead you to the counter or through the back where the outdoor seating in the lawn area is.
On entry via the door, the coffee counter is right at the back with a large communal table between the door and the counter. There’s also some bench seats facing the window.
Turning left leads you into another spacious dining area with shelves on the opposite wall. Between the entry and shelves, there are black round tables and another large wooden communal table.
A door in this space, leads you out into the lawn area between the venue and the church with random tables scattered around. And on the day we went, the weather was perfect for a meal outdoor so we chose to sit outside.
The A4 sized menu has on one side a range of dishes on offer with many that are dietary friendly (vegetarian, gluten free and vegan option available) and on the other drinks separated into ‘hot’, ‘teas’ and ‘cold’ sections.
The venue had run out of matcha on the day we dined so Mr J opted for a tea while I ordered my usual mocha which was uniquely served in a jar. The mocha had a nice roasted coffee bean and was well balanced in terms of a mocha.
Mr J ordered the fritters which had a nice thin batter around the fritters and a creamy textured filling which went well with Mr J’s favourite romesco puree. The avocado and bit of green in the dish gave a touch of freshness to the dish. Oh and Mr J confirmed that the pickled guindilla peppers were very hot for him (keeping in mind his chilli tolerance is very low).
I had the smoked kingfish. It’s not often that we see a smoked kingfish dish on a cafe menu. As expected, the kingfish was mild in flavour and went nicely with the thinly panko crumbed sweet potato. And despite me thinking this would be a light dish, the dish was quite filling.
To finish, we tried one of the specials off the venue’s blackboard, the brioche french toast. This was a good serving size and quite eggy (a little too eggy for us) and slightly crispy on the edges.
Wanting to be known for their great service, food and a place that everyone feels comfortable in, we think the venue has hit all the marks.
Dishes that make up this review
- Mocha ($5)
- Corn, feta and coriander fritters; crisp fritters, smokey romesco puree, chorizo, poached egg, avocado and pickled guindilla peppers ($19)
- Smoked kingfish and wakame; cold smoked kingfish, wakame salad, peach, panko crumbed sweet potato, black sesame, kewpie and marbled tea egg ($20)
- Brioche french toast; blackberry and vanilla compote, ice-cream, blood orange and lemon balm ($17)