248 Burwood Road
Hawthorn Vic 3122
So if we’re being honest, we all know that cafes in Melbourne are a dime a dozen. Every suburb has a new eatery popping up claiming to be the best thing since sliced bread, but in reality there is very little that separates it from another cafe 1km down the road. That’s not to say they’re bad, quite the opposite, the food is almost always good, but there is very little to no point of difference. As someone who eats out a lot, I don’t want same old same old when we visit a new spot, I want to be wowed and try something a bit different. Well this week BAWA did exactly that.
Brought to us by the super talented team behind awesome eateries Barry (easily one of my top 5 cafes in Melbourne), Pillar of Salt, Touchwood and Square and Compass, you know BAWA is going to bring the goods purely based on their impressive track record. This was enough to lure me across town with two kids in tow and man was I glad I made the trip (even though the parking situation there sucks!!).
Located near the entrance to the Bunnings carpark on Burwood Road, the exterior is really understated, but don’t be deceived into thinking its a sign of what you’ll get inside. Quite the opposite in fact, park yourself in a booth or at a communal table, enjoy an A Grade coffee and take in the minimalist light filled space.
Now that’s all good and well, but I didn’t come here for a good looking space, I came for a great feed and that’s exactly what we got. Between the four of us we ordered a good mix of dishes, from the generous chilli scambled eggs on thick crusty toast, right through to one of the most flavoursome grain salads I’ve ever tasted (although they have form here, the superfood salad at Bawa’s sister cafes is the bomb, so naturally it also makes an appearance here, plus they also offer this deelish grain salad). There were so many dishes calling my name, but ever a sucker for a sweet treat, I couldn’t go past the coffee pannacotta with mandarin and honeycomb.
Unlike most pannacotta’s it was served in a shallow bowl as opposed to the free standing wobbly cylinders we’ve come to expect. This version also had a slightly different consistency, closer to a creme brulee than a pannacotta, but still oh so good. Every spoonful was like a party in my mouth. The bitterness from the coffee, plus the sweetness from the honeycomb, a bit of nutty crunch and a citrus hit, it was well rounded and D’effing’lish! I should have ordered a responsible savoury dish, but I’ve got plenty of time to be responsible. I’ll take this over a good nutritious meal any day of the week.
Trust me when I saw this place was awesome on all fronts – ambiance, coffee, winning menu, and of course satisfied customers, me included. Why settle for same same, when there’s BAWA to wow you.