Shop 2, 185 Riding Road, Hawthorne
Mochi and I grew tired of gracing popular, in-demand brunch spots. Two weekends ago, we decided to try somewhere a bit more obscure. I don't know how she finds out about these places but L'Arte was suggested and I thought it sounded good.
Due to it being East of the CBD, I somehow got it in my head that Hawthorne was an 'Eastern Suburb' and therefore close to Carindale. Not at all... it's much more inner city than that. My car is still being repaired so I had to get mum and dad to weave their way through unfamiliar territory until we found the cafe.
It's a tiny little thing located on busy Riding Road. When Mochi arrived, we picked a table inside.
L'Arte isn't art gallery meets cafe like I thought. It's more of a cafe/gift-shop hybrids packaged into a trendy boutique size. There were some various handmade jewellery, canvases, homemade jams etc on sale. I contemplated buying some earrings but couldn't commit to that decision.
Mochi and I ordered drinks to start with: a blueberry smoothie for her and an iced coffee (minus cream) for me.
The blueberry smoothie was very mild. Mochi said this was good because she didn't want too sweet. I thought it was too much watery milk and not enough berry.
The iced coffee wasn't what I expected. I thought it'd be one of those with a ball of ice-cream inside and syrup of some description. Just because I held back on whipped cream didn't mean I wanted zero indulgence. It was instead, literally an 'iced coffee' - milk coffee served ice cold, no sugar. It wasn't bad, just not what I expected.
Mochi's brunch pick reflected her sweet tooth that morning. She went for the pancakes. I sampled a portion. I thought it was good but unremarkable. Not dissimilar to pancakes we make at home although of course with far less effort.
I went for the zucchini and avocado fritters because they sounded strangely healthy and naughty at the same time. The fritters were... odd. I don't think avocados make a good fritter component because it's too much mushiness and not enough crunch. The fritters were a bit like a bland, mushy vegetable pancake. The collaboration with balsamic and bacon were strange too. I'm afraid it didn't really work for me. The tomatoes were nice though.
I liked that L'Arte had some 'different' brunch options. It just so happens that the one I picked didn't work too well. If I really wanted to impress someone with a good Brissie breakfast joint, I wouldn't pick here. The competition is fierce and I've had a better brunch at many other cafes.