71 Russell St, West End
My visit to Cafe Wrapture had been a long time coming. I first heard mention of its popular haloumi wrap towards the start of this year but never got a chance to try it. This past Saturday, I woke up early and went for a morning stroll through West End. Amusingly, I had no idea it was raining so I strutted out of the apartment in a getup of singlet, shorts and thongs and was immediately greeted by wet droplets on my hair and sunnies and amused looks from tradies getting coffee outside.
I have no issues walking in the rain as long as it's not cold. Wandering around, it was refreshing and peaceful seeing the streets quiet and inactive. I found Cafe Wrapture on Russell Street, near Cup Coffee. It's in a small, renovated old building that's easy to walk past if you're not looking out for it and difficult to miss if you are.
The cafe wasn't what I was expecting at all. I had picutred a little stall vendor and some stools and umbrellas out the front. What I found was Tree of Life meets zen garden decor squished in a little house. There was the soft scent of incense burning and glow of himalyan salt lamps.
The menu describes several wraps with various fillings, as well as non-wrap breakfast options. I didn't hesitate in ordering the haloumi wrap, something I'd been fantasizing about for months, and a cup of coffee as well. I noticed a vast range of iced coffees, which would have been good to try if it wasn't raining.
Originally, I took up a table inside but I was lured by the covered outdoor area. There was a low coffee table with embroidered cushions and a mini buddah water feature. That plus the sound of gentle rain just outside was very tranquil.
My coffee arrived first, complete with a frangipani flower. The lady (owner?) who passed me my cup explained that it was a flower for my hair. Such personal service... so lovely! It put a genuine smile on my face and made my morning. The coffee itself was fabulous too.
I was super excited when I got my haloumi wrap. It was tucked up in a tight packet that I was almost too impatient to tear up properly. I stayed calm and managed to do a relatively neat job, peeling back the foil to reveal the vibrant, fresh wrap with tantalising morsels of haloumi poking out.
Slightly more close-up view
One bite and I was in heaven. Where do I start? I had heard the wrapping bread from Cafe Wrapture was a standout feature and indeed it was. Rather than the thin cardboardy stuff I normally use to make my lunches, it was a soft, buttery pliable flatbread that was almost naan-like but thinner and less oily. Not to toot my own horn but it reminded me of this flatbread I made at home once, but even better!
The main component of the filling was lightly grilled haloumi that was soft and chewy with a golden, charred exterior. It was just perfect and somehow better than the haloumi I grill at home. I didn't know there could be much variation in haloumi but apparently there is good and better. There was also a fresh salad of lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced carrot and cabbage (like in a coleslaw). The key ingredient in tying everything together was a savory yoghurt dressing. I noticed that all the delicious bits and pieces were evenly distributed through the wrap so I didn't run out of haloumi by the time I got to the bottom. Horray!
A wrap might sound simple but this was so good I enjoyed it more than most fancy meals I get at restaurants. I even wanted to go back for more the next day! My haloumi wrap at Cafe Wrapture was excellent value for a well rounded meal made with fresh ingredients and executed perfectly. I enjoyed the ambiance and friendly service and really just can't recommend this place enough.