Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Healesville Harvest. The place I dream of.

Healesville Harvest, 256 Maroondah Hwy Healesville 3777

Ok, so I love food, I love cooking, I love eating, but never had I even really contemplated owning my own cafe or restaurant until I visited the Healesville Harvest Cafe. If I opened a Cafe, I'd want it to be exactly like this place, in the same position, with the same food, staff, coffee and furniture. Looks like I'm a little too late. Because someone has already done a great job of it!
That someone is in fact Michael Kennedy and Kylie Balharrie who own some of my other favourite places in Healesville - Harvest House, Healesville Hotel and their soon to open Butcher / Providore Style Store, which will be just down the road from the Cafe.
The Harvest Cafe, has Yarra Valley written all over it. Their retail area down the back of the cafe stocks mainly Yarra Valley produce such as Olive Oils, Wines, Yarra Valley Pasta, Cunliffe and Waters Jams and Preserves (if you get the chance try the Cunliffe and Waters Raspberry Jam - it's absolutely amazing!!), they even stock their own herbs, which are grown on the owner's farm.

This farm from what I understand grows a lot of the ingredients which are used in both the cafe itself and at the famed Healesville Hotel restaurant next door. The cafe also stocks their own breads as well as the popular Philippa's brand. 2 large communal tables are inside or you can sit in the little laneway between the Cafe and Hotel and have your own table. There is no table service as far as ordering goes- you have to go up to the counter to place your order, but of course the lovely wait staff will bring the food over to you when it's ready.
The menu is quite simple and is predominantly based on the fine local produce available in the area. The breakfasts here are as to be expected- fantastic, although I have had the occassional over poached egg, but hey, I drive from Fitzroy to come here - can't be too bad! The bacon used here is the best bacon I have tasted by far... ever! I'm not 100% sure, but I assume the bacon used is from the butcher's across the road, which has won awards for the best bacon in Victoria.

The cafe also has it's own pastry chef working there. I haven't tried any of his tasty creations as yet, but the cakes and pastries on display look delicious! I don't know whether it's the food or simply the fact that I like to sit there and daydream about owning a place like this, but I'm always looking forward to my next meal at Healesville Harvest!

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