Along with sunny days and shivery winds, Spring is best for fresh produce and seasonal flavoured dishes to match, especially for Cafe Narana, currently in the midst of celebrating their new Spring menu.
Taking their signature Indigenous infused flavours to a whole new level, the new menu piques your curiosity and tempts your taste buds with Spring dishes created by head chef Hayden Ververs. Combining unique Australian indigenous ingredients with classic cafe cuisine, Ververs says this is the best way to introduce people to amazing native flavours.
“We try to keep it modern, but we try to infuse so we don’t scare people away. We don’t want people to think that we are just doing indigenous foods like kangaroo and emu – it’s all modernised to keep it fresh,” he says.
“It’s about getting people to try something new and something different.”
Self-taught in Indigenous cooking, Ververs drew inspiration for the new menu from Charcoal Lane in Melbourne, a massive indigenous corporation where he met with the head chef, as well as collecting knowledge of flavours, methods and ingredients from locals.
Classic indigenous herbs and plants throughout their menu include lemon myrtle, pepper berry, river mint, paperbark, as well as macadamia nuts and wild salt.
“We also use finger limes which are a native berry which you cut open and it’s like caviar – they are little balls and they pop in your mouth. They are bitter, but quite nice so we add them to our whipped cream for our scones which people love,” Ververs says.
The cafe maintains the classics with their delicious toasties, lamb wraps and focaccias, however it’s the new additions that really make for a delectable lunch experience.
New dishes include the Kangaroo Sliders made from a kangaroo fillet slow cooked over 16 hours with mixed herbs and bush tomato chutney, which Ververs says pulls like pulled pork; the Paperbark Barramundi which infuses the fish with the flavours of paperbark served with chat potatoes, asparagus and topped with a finger lime, aniseed and lemon myrtle sauce, as well as the house made Macadamia Chicken Burger. This one includes a chicken breast fillet encrusted with macadamia nuts and a secret blend of bush herbs and spice, served with a side of hand-cut sweet potato fries.
If you’re more inclined to breakfast foods, Ververs says the Breaky Muffin is a popular choice, with kangaroo chorizo, avocado, mushroom and goats cheese with a poached egg on top. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, the new Lemon Myrtle Pancakes with lemon curd, desert passion syrup, smashed meringue and macadamia ice cream is one for you.
With herbs grown on-site, and plans to expand their native food plant garden, the cafe is the ideal location to discover indigenous edible plants and fruits, as well as try specialities like crumbed crocodile, smoked eel and emu cabana. Whether you are after a big breakfast, a hearty lunch or an afternoon snack, the cafe is the place to go to try something new.
Cafe Narana is located 410 Torquay Road in Grovedale and is open Tuesday to Friday 9am – 4pm, and Saturday 9am – 3pm.
Written by Talia Rinaldo