Light Years Cafe, Hawthorn

10/29/2017 , 0 Comments

Light Years Cafe is located in Hawthorn East on Camberwell Road just past the Rivoli Cinemas. It's actually opened by the same people who own Journeyman in South Yarra and Hammer & Tong in Fitzroy, both of which I've been too and thoroughly enjoyed the food at. There's plenty of parking nearby, or the tram 72 is also a short walk away from the cafe.

The cafe itself is a lot larger than expected, and has quite an open, clean space. Tables for four or more make up most of the cafe, with a bench facing outwards, tables of two towards the back and a large communal table near the display cabinet of desserts and sandwiches. Loud upbeat music plays in the background, giving the whole cafe a vibrant atmosphere. The staff were friendly and attentive, and our food came really quickly - it was less than a ten minute wait.

The menu at Light Years isn't the most extensive, but there's still a good range of sweet and savoury breakfast and lunch options to choose from. We went with the breakfast bun ($15), the winter bowl ($19) and the char grilled salmon ($22), as well as a hot chocolate and matcha latte (both $4.50). The hot chocolate was lovely and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness to it. The matcha latte was also creamy, though had a bit of a bitter taste to it, and it would've been good if there was a bit more match flavour.

The breakfast bun was made up of chive scrambled eggs, bacon, jarlsberg cheese, spinach and gentleman's relish (anchovies paste) on a brioche bun. The scrambled eggs were nice and creamy and there was just the right amount of it to the bacon, however it did get a bit oily by the end. It would've been good to have a bit more spinach in the bun to balance it out a bit, however flavourwise it was really great, with the sweetness of the brioche contrasting nicely to the other savoury flavours of the dish.

The winter bowl consisted of baby dutch potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower puree, onion soubise, a mushroom and chestnut soil, kale, sorrel and comte cheese. The use of the cauliflower puree and onion soubise was the highlight of the dish, as it really brought the natural flavours and sweetness of the winter vegetables out, in particular the potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. The kale was a nice crunchy texture, having been deep fried, however the stalks themselves were really hard and we ended up leaving it uneaten. Overall this was a really enjoyable and filling dish, lighter and perfect for vegetarians or those with gluten intolerances.

The char grilled salmon was served with pickled daikon, fennel, a beetroot emulsion, apple, lemon creme fraiche and salmon pearls. The salmon itself was cooked perfectly, tender and soft with a lovely crispy skin. The whole dish came together really well, except for the creme fraiche which wasn't really necessary in the dish, and the lemon flavour was lacking and couldn't really be tasted at all. The whole dish was quite light and refreshing, and a good portion if you're not super hungry.

We also got sweet potato waffles to share ($6), which came with sriracha mayo on the side. These were different to anything I'd had before; the use of waffles is probably a loose term to describe what it was. The shape of the sweet potato pieces was definitely like waffles with its criss-cross pattern, but it was extremely thin, more so than potato chips. These had really good flavour and the ones up the top were nice and crispy, however by the end they became quite soggy and oily.

It was an enjoyable experience at Light Years Cafe, worth trying if you're in the area!

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10

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