NAPA Glen Iris is a laidback, California-infused cafe doing sunshine spins on popular breakfast and lunch favourites.
Location: 451 Burke Rd, Glen Iris VIC 3146 Ph: (03) 9825 8414
Maybe it’s the pale blonde timber. Perhaps it’s the warmth of the terracotta tiles climbing the serving counter. Or it could even be the bright and breezy tweaks to the favourites littering the menu. But whatever it is, there’s a vaguely California vibe to Napa Glen Iris.
Whatever it is, we’re pretty sure it’s intentional. What’s more, is an obvious fit to the sunny, chilled attitude that’s us Aussie’s are famous for.
The result, is a great little eatery for an interesting brunch date with friends or simply to grab something and run as you head to an appointment in the area.
Tones of sand, (good) beige, terracotta and cream abound.
There’s a Scandinavian nursery aesthetic at work in the plain wood tables and chairs. But those curved backs on the chairs are important. They are simple, but built for comfort.
As is so often the case in Melbourne cafes, the lighting is a real feature. Strip lighting makes the brass shelving behind the service counter gleam whilst circular fixtures on the walls shine like eclipsed suns.
That warmth is also there in the slender terracotta tiles that face the counter holding the pristine, white coffee machine – amongst other things.
The ambience is friendly and welcoming, but also efficient.
In many ways, NAPA Glen Iris is the perfect example of my preferred kind of menu. As I hinted earlier, there are a lot of familiar winners on offer, but not necessarily so you usually see them.
So that perennial brunch choice, the Smashed Avo ($22.0) comes on Light Rye w/ Poached Egg, Spring Onions, Crumbled Feta, Pickled Beetroot & Dukkah. And if you want more, simply choose something from the extensive list of Extras to the right of the page.
My dining companion is a sucker for heat, and so goes for the Chilli Jam Scrambled Egg ($21.00). What she gets is sunshine on a plate.
There’s crunchy Sourdough topped with a soft swirl of Scrambled Eggs. With it there’s a rainbow of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Spring Onion & a Jalapeno spiked Minted Salsa. It looks gorgeous and I’m assured it tastes just as good.
If you want to go the health(ier) route, there’s a packed Bliss Bowl ($21.0). The basic format is Kale, Broccolini, Snow Peas, Avocado, Sesame Seeds, Poached Egg and Hummus. From there you can free-style with additional Eggs, Grilled Chicken or Smoked Salmon.
This building-from-a-base approach is also applied to the Macro Bowl ($21.0). Starting with Shawarma Spiced Cauliflower – I’m excited just typing that – Pickled Cabbage, Spinach, Grilled Carrot, Roasted walnut, Tzatziki & Falafel, you can add the same proteins as above.
But I wasn’t interested in the future of my arteries when I visited NAPA Glen Iris. I was hungry, and my drug of choice, Chicken & Waffle ($22.0).
A carb-a-liscious pile of Buttermilk Fried Chicken, House Made Waffle, Apple Radish Slaw and a shard of Maple Glazed Bacon, it is everything I hoped for and more.
The Chicken is juicy inside it’s crisp, gnarly shell and the glossy Bacon adds a fabulous sweet note. All that yummy richness is cut by the crunchy Slaw. I am very happy.
At NAPA Glen Iris, the Coffee is the Veneziano Coffee Blend and is smooth and rounded.
For the leaf fans, there’s Tea Drop Tea. Meanwhile, the Hot Chocolate is the ever wonderful Mork brand.
There are a number of other softies on offer, but the Smoothies ($10.0) are worth a mention. The Bahama blends Mango, Passionfruit, Pineapple & Banana. In contrast, the Powerpunch matches Banana with Peach, Apple & Dates. All of them can be made with your choice of Milk, Water or Coconut Water.
NAPA Glen Iris has a lot going for it in a suburb where the cafe game is already strong.
With cheery service, a clean, sharp, sunny design and a menu filled with much-loved dishes given an imaginative make-over, its a welcome addition to busy Burke Road.