A few months ago my parents ventured up from Geelong and I took them out for a very disappointing lunch on Toorak Road. As we strolled home along Avoca Street, they were dismayed when they compared the dismal Toorak Road offering with what had been my alternative lunch choice, Café Gaia.
Anyone who has ever walked past Café Gaia will understand its undeniable appeal. The outdoor area at the front is shaded by a vine-covered pergola and it has heaters so you can sit outside all year round. Inside the café is bathed in natural sun light and filled with clean lines and interesting artwork.
When we finally visited Café Gaia this weekend it lived up to our first impression. The wait staff are friendly and helpful without a hint of South Yarra snobbery. They seem to be on first name terms with a majority of their customers and the banter between them kept us entertained.
The coffee was so excellent I went back for seconds. It was creamy and delicious without any hint of bitterness. There’s also an extensive collection of sweet treats to accompany your caffeine hit.
As for food, there is something for everyone, both for breakfast and lunch. For example; potato, parmesan and rosemary roesti with crispy pork belly, tomato and chilli relish and poached eggs or pikelets with peach and vanilla jam and spiced mascarpone. On the day I visited there were also several tempting specials including chicken, bacon and mushroom pie with mash and apple, strawberry and raspberry crumble.
If you’re after a satisfying experience in South Yarra, don’t make the same mistake I did. Head straight for Café Gaia and you will not be disappointed.