Review: Hawthorn Common

It seems impossible that this cafe could be considered "common" like its name suggests. However, this gem, hidden on Burwood Road, definitely provides common ground, a space that belongs to and involves the whole community of Hawthorn and beyond.

I had a check-up at the doctor's office in Camberwell and hadn't eaten all day, which was a dumb decision because I ended up having a blood test. Mum decided that, primarily for health reasons, it was necessary for us to grab some lunch. She suggested Hawthorn Common and I obliged, focussing all my energy on not fainting. Hawthorn Common was the perfect cure for my hunger blues.

Mum's pulled pork sandwich - if I'm certain of anything, it's that a pulled pork sandwich will never let you down. Mum was also thrilled by the fact that she was only given a handful of chips, "It's nice to be able to eat chips, but I feel obliged to eat all of them if I'm given a lot"
The food philosophy at Hawthorn Common is to produce good, organic food, with everything made from scratch in-house. They have a coffee roaster, a flourmill to produce fresh whole grain every day to bake their own bread and a rooftop herb garden. They hand-roll their own oats and they even make their own yoghurt. However, this wholefood approach does not mean that meat eaters aren't also welcomed with open arms.

The menu is small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in delicious flavours. It features both the usual suspects (oats, pancakes and eggs with extras) and more creative imaginings (black pudding and ox pie). They also have a little display, which is filled with freshly made sandwiches and delectable looking deserts.

My vegetable fritters with corn, different coloured heirloom tomatoes (which I love, it makes the dish so pretty) and chickpea salad. I think the sauce underneath was mushed up cauliflower. Either way it was delicious. The fritters melted in my mouth. 
The menu also features interesting drink options. They serve three house blends of coffee, five different kinds of tea, and a wide selection of cold drinks, ranging from classic juices to smoothies with a health kick.

The cafe itself is a huge, open space, with black and white tiles, wood finishes, greenery, and jars of produce - constantly emphasising the importance of fresh produce (as I've said once before, places like this remind me how much better food tastes when it's made with good, fresh produce). You'll also be greeted with black and white portraits of people who are involved in making this place what it is - you'll find it hard not to feel apart of the community here.

The outdoor terrace, which mum and I didn't get a chance to check out because it was a rainy Melbourne day, was also huge. I imagine it would be a fought over space on sunny days. It can seat around 40 people and at 7:30am on Saturdays it houses a yoga session.

The menu says: "Produce from the farmer, made from scratch; milled, rolled, fermented, baked, preserved, dried and roasted. organic waste composted and returned to grow again. a closed loop"
Printed on the back of the employees shirts is the phrase, "better than yesterday", indicating the infectious positivity of this place. Your day will definitely be better than yesterday (even if it was the best day of your life) if you're spending it at Hawthorn Common.

Hawthorn Common
302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
9819 2200

Mon - Sun: 7am to 4pm
Fri: 8am to 10pm (book for dinner)


Hawthorn Common on Urbanspoon

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