If you’re indecisive, deciding what to eat on a menu is pretty much impossible. Even narrowing down the options is a challenge when you have a rumbling tummy. Do I want the eggs and bacon… or that Moringa-blueberry-brie muffin? What’s everyone else having? Are we sharing? Oh, hello waiter – five (or fifteen) more minutes to decide, please. And everyone else is like…
My strategy is simply searching up the menu beforehand. That way I can take as much time as I want! Does anyone else take ages to decide? And how do you decide what to order? People who don’t have this problem – I don’t get you. You’ll see why I’m talking about this below.
Last week I went on an amazing trip to the Grampians with my family, which I’ll be recapping soon. On the way we stopped by Second Home, a timeless café and art gallery located within in the north-eastern suburb of Eltham. Housed in a beautiful 1973 mud-brick building designed by architect Alistair Knox, it has previously functioned as an industrial light factory and antique bric-a-brac shop. Co-owners Catherine Wilcox and Jason Jones are old friends (Jones’ previous ventures include Richmond’s Friends of Mine, Balwyn’s Snow Pony and Hawthorn’s Porgie + Mr Jones).
We arrived at busy lunch hour, so parking was limited. The space within the massive glass doors drew stark contrast with the industrial surroundings; minimal furnishings allow the beautiful architecture to shine, and a fireplace adds to the cozy atmosphere. I felt a little out of place in my hiking attire, as everyone (even the kids!) was dressed at their snazzy best.
I was impressed by the diverse menu, featuring dishes like Mr Jones’ “famous” herby golden scrambled eggs, gnocchi with 8-hour braised lamb and even homemade “Spag on Toast”. Even the ubiquitous avocado toast was given a twist, being seasoned with vegemite salt. For people after a caffeine hit, cups at Second Home are brewed with beans from Rosso Roasting Co.
Eventually I settled on the forest mushroom (brie? YES), whilst my siblings and mum ordered the cheeseburger and daily soup respectively.
My pie came encased in a wonderfully crunchy shortcrust (which surprised me a little as I expected puff pastry), with a creamy filling of mixed mushrooms and Gippsland brie, which was cooked to tender – yet not mushy – perfection. The potato topping was light and buttery, as promised. Alongside the pie was a hearty pear and radicchio salad which was crisp and fresh. I found the addition of enoki mushrooms in the salad a bit odd, but that’s just nit-picking at this point. This will drive mushroom-lovers wild.
My siblings enjoyed their burgers, which were rapidly decimated. I stole a few “hot chippies”, crunched through the deep golden edges…and promptly burned my tongue on the steaming insides – and this was 15 minutes after they landed on the table!
The overall consensus was a positive one – we’ll be back! But before YOU leave, are you an indecisive person? What’s the hardest thing for you to decide on (or maybe you can’t pick one…)?
21 Brougham St, Eltham, Vic, 3095
Phone: 03 9439 5362
Open 7 days, 8am – 4pm (kitchen closes at 3pm)
Bookings on weekdays only