302 Barkers Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
03 9818 4448
Open: Weekdays 7:30am – 4pm; Weekends & Public holidays: 7:30am – 3pm
One Saturday morning – I had to pick something up in Camberwell – a suburb I rarely visit. However, I have heard good things about a number of cafés out there, and so decided it might be a good opportunity to try them. Replete Providore in Hawthorn (just next to Camberwell) had previously received many rave reviews for their ricotta hotcakes… so I decided I had better check them out for myself to see if they were contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best pancakes….
I was presented with a generous serve of pancakes, with lashings of strawberry coulis and house-made lemon curd. Pretty gorgeous – especially if you like red! The pancakes themselves were fluffy but moist, and had good flecks and chunks of ricotta throughout. The sweetness of the lemon curd was foiled by the tartness of the berry coulis, and the pistachio praline provided a pleasant crunch – although it was rare to come across, and virtually non-existent to the eye.
By the end of the meal, I felt a little overwhelmed with sweetness. I think that the dish might be better balanced by serving it with half lemon curd, and half yoghurt or créme fraiche. The softer mellowness of the dairy would cut through the intense sweetness of the accompaniments, and just level things out a little.
Nonetheless, it was a pleasant experience – and Replete Providore appears to be a favourite among many locals who came in family groups. The café soon filled up – but thankfully they have an extra room at the back for overflow…. I don’t think the hotcakes will quite make it to my top 5 this year – but they were certainly good quality and worth checking out if you’re in the area.