Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Green Tambourine Cafe

Update 2012: Green Tambourine Cafe has closed.

We met my friend Yarrow for brunch on the weekend. I have always chosen a cafe for food and ambiance. Now I seek a cafe that has good food, good ambiance and is child-friendly. I have found that Hey Bambini is a good website for local child friendly cafes. On Saturday it turned up The Green Tambourine Cafe in Brunswick.

The building on Albion Street, close to the intersection with Sydney Road, has only recently opened as The Green Tambourine but Yaz can remember it being another cafe and an Italian restaurant in the past few years. I love a bluestone building and warmed to it as soon as I saw it. Inside the bluestone walls and pistachio green cushions are welcoming. The seats by the open fire were taken so we sat by the window instead.

The menu has a few options that interest me. I want the oatmeal pancakes with caramelised bananas and yoghurt but I should have something savoury. I compromise with ordering a pea fritter, toast and cheese to encourage Sylvia to eat with us. (I also ask for yoghurt on the side in the hope Sylvia might try some pancake.) Yaz has the pea and feta fritter with rocket, avocado and lime aioli (no salmon!).

My pea fritter was a bit disappointing. It was stodgy pancake with a few peas. However when I saw how much greenery it is served with on Yaz's plate as recommended on the menu, it makes more sense. I also found that we had to wait almost an hour because it took so long to have anyone take our order and then bring our food. While I am having a whinge I will mention that Yaz was not keen on his coffee and I ordered a beetroot, apple, lemon and ginger juice that tasted so strongly of ginger that I couldn't finish it.

E, on the other hand, loved the place. He isn't a coffee snob like Yaz and was happy with his latte. He loved his green eggs and ham. His main complaint was that the sandpit out the back was so much fun that Sylvia wouldn't leave it when he took her out for a play. I enjoyed the sourdough toast and the pancakes - the caramelised banana and yoghurt balance nicely so that they aren't too sweet. Sylvia wouldn't eat a thing but she didn't eat much that day anyway.

If I visit again, and this is likely, I would sit out the back in the covered courtyard so that Sylvia could play in the sandpit or in the tub with the blocks for as long as she wanted. I noticed the place also has highchairs, plastic crockery, and a blackboard. Perfect for kids! Now I just need to get Sylvia to eat more when we go to cafe!

Also see reviews from Eat More Vegies, A Vegan about Town and Cherry Blossoms and Vodka.

Update 2012: Green Tambourine Cafe has closed.

Green Tambourine Cafe
179 Albion Street
Brunswick 3056
(03) 9384 2254

6 comments:

  1. Holy moly, an hour wait? That's a bit much, really, even if the caramelised banana pancakes were good :) Does Sylvia tend not to eat much at cafes because there's so much "newness" and stimulation around to distract her? I think I was a bit like that as a kid...

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  2. Wow an hour's wait is a long time. Lucky Sylvia enjoyed playing and wasn't too hungry! :)

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  3. I went to a child-friendly café once and we had to wait around an hour for our food as well. *sigh* These places have so much potentials, yet, it seems that not all of them got it right.

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  4. Oatmeal pancakes sound wonderful--actually, so do the pea fritters (sorry you weren't thrilled). At least E liked it! ;)

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  5. Thanks Hannah - I think you are right about why sylvia didn't eat at the cafe - she is not good at trying new food right now.

    Thanks Lorraine - I was a bit worried sylvia would get tired as it was quite a wait but she was fine - I have seen others saying they were served quickly so we may have had a bad day

    Thanks Anh - i was aware when I was looking for a place that is child friendly that it is hard to also find a place with good food - the service was friendly and I would return but there was definitely room for improvement

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  6. I've never had or heard of a pea fritter! Too bad you didn't love it.

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