Monday, November 06, 2006

November 4, 2006: Lawson Grove Shop

This weekend Dad and Anne were back in town to celebrate Anne's sister's birthday, and we arranged to meet them for lunch near the birthday girl's South Yarra home. They introduced us to the Lawson Grove Shop, a cute little place tucked away in a residential area with a "milk bar" street sign pointing the way. The espresso machine, organic breads and gourmet jams are evidence that this is more a trendy cafe; the professional clientele in their designer weekend clothes, scanning the newspapers, confirm it. The only trace of old-school milk bar is a shelf of assorted groceries in the back corner. Lawson Grove Shop offers a short but attractive list of eggs on toast with a range of extras, a toasted sandwich, fruit, muesli and pancakes, then two extra specials on the blackboard: a high proportion are vegetarian. Michael and I had been craving a cafe breakfast that morning and we were happy to see that breakfast was on the menu for lunch.

Michael picked Shanghai eggs, one of the specials. These were scrambled ("wok-tossed") with spring onions and sweet chilli sauce and served on toast. Michael loved this dish, and the freshly squeezed blood orange juice with which he washed it down. I chose the ricotta pancakes, served with lemon curd and strawberries. The pancakes were moist and dense rather than cakey, but the serving size was modest and I didn't feel weighed down afterwards. Strangely the pancakes were swimming in (deliciously tart) lemon curd, and I had to ration out the little strawberry slices. The overall effect was satisfying but a bit unbalanced. The staff were incredibly jovial, stopping by several times to check that we were enjoying our meals and making extra rounds of coffee. I'd probably become a regular at the Lawson Grove Shop if it were in my neighbourhood: it might not be reliable for random essential groceries but the chatty, friendly guys working there are very much in step with ye olde local milk bar.

Address: 1 Lawson Grove, South Yarra
Ph: 9866 3640
Price: ~$13

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