The Baker's Wife, Camberwell

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

The Baker's Wife is a cafe in Camberwell on Burke Road just before Toorak Rd, in a little shopping strip and easily accessible by tram 72. I actually went for the first time for one of my friend's wedding, and recently again for brunch. The cafe has a really good range of dishes and the pastries are delicious - definitely worth a visit.

We went on a Sunday around noon and there was about a fifteen minute wait for a table, and once seated, a bit of a wait before our food actually came. It was really busy and there was an upbeat, lively atmosphere from all the customers. Theres an artistic, rustic and homely feel to The Baker's Wife with its brick walls, the plants hanging from the ceiling and the large fireplace to one side of the cafe. The staff were friendly and attentive, though at times it was hard to get their attention because it was so busy. Every table has a jar of cutlery but ours didn't, and it took awhile for the staff to notice this and bring some across to us.

There's a good range of both breakfast and lunch dishes at The Baker's Wife, and also a large variety of pastries in the display cabinets behind the counter. The dishes we ordered were the special soup of the day ($12), eggs any way with extras of salmon, hollandaise sauce and mushrooms ($9.5 + $7) and the Shakshouka ($19.50) . My friend also got a cappuccino, and I got an orange juice, which was a little on the sweet side but still refreshing.

The soup of the day was a sweet corn soup and came quite quickly after we had ordered. It was quite sweet and a little too thick, but there was a good portion and it was really filling, and the two house made bread rolls on the side were a really nice addition to the dish.

My friend chose to get poached eggs with mushrooms, salmon and hollandaise sauce with the build your own breakfast. The portions made for a filling dish, though it would've been good to have another slice of toast to go with all the elements and ingredients. The eggs were cooked perfectly, with the yolk oozing out when cut into, and the hollandaise sauce was enjoyable; light on the palette and not too heavy and overpowering. The salmon was cut into small pieces on the side which was really thoughtful and made it easy to have with each bite of the dish, and the slice of toast was thick enough to withold the rest of the dish and not become soggy, but not so hard that you couldn't cut into it.

The shakshouka (Middle Eastern baked eggs) came with marinated labne and grilled flatbread. It was both tomato and capsicum based which made it very flavoursome, but the eggs were completely cooked and the yolk didn't ooze out which was a little disappointing, as one of the best parts of baked eggs in my opinion is mixing all the elements together for a really delicious dish that's full of flavour. However, it was still really delicious and the blobs of labne yoghurt added acidity to the dish and contrasted well with the heavier flavours of the dish for a balance of flavours.

I had a couple of the pastries when I came to The Baker's Wife for my friend's wedding; the mini strawberry tarts and were really delicious and the perfect portion for a dessert after the main meal. This time when we went, we decided to get the nutella and raspberry cruffin to share, which again did not disappoint at all. The nutella had been slightly watered down so it wasn't as thick and was more custard like, but it still had all the original chocolate-y hazelnut flavour. The raspberry flavour helped to balance out the sweetness, and there was a really nice layered texture of the croissant, except it wasn't as buttery (given it was a combination of a croissant and a muffin). It is quite a heavy dessert though, so would be best to be shared between a few people so it doesn't become too rich.

Overall it was a great experience at The Baker's Wife, and I'd definitely like to come back again to try some of their other dishes and of course, some of the other desserts!

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10
Price: $$


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