I’m never really sure if Abbotsford should be considered a suburb in its own right, given its size – to me it seems more like the awkward love child of Collingwood and Richmond; a gentrifying ex-industrial area, full of shabby-chic warehouses and dying retail factory outlets awaiting conversion into swanky apartments or hipster cafes.
One such recent conversion saw the opening of South African designer furniture store Weylandts, an IKEA-sized behemoth taking up what appears to have previously been multiple properties. Situated at the front is their in-house cafe known as ‘The Kitchen’. In fitting with the rest of the store, the Kitchen’s design is clean, modern and on-trend; large windows fill the cafe with light, natural wood abounds and industrial cage pendant lamps (fitted with the ubiquitous Edison bulbs, of course) provide an interesting feature point.
On the weekends the cafe and store open at 10, by which point there is usually a handful of people waiting out the front. It does get busy later, so if you don’t like waiting then turning up at 10 is your best bet.
The menu consisted mostly of standard breakfast fare with a few interesting twists here and there.
Bob’s ‘farm breakfast’ ($24) included the Kitchen’s homemade boerewors sausage, alongside mushrooms, Kaiserfleisch bacon, tomato, scrambled egg and sourdough. The sausage was meaty and rich without being too fatty and had a nice hint of spice. I’ve never had boerewors before but this was quite tasty.
Of course, I couldn’t go past the corn fritters with gravlax and poached eggs ($17). I like my corn fritters with as much corn as possible, so I was quite thrilled about a dish which had extra charred, fresh corn kernels on top of the soft, fluffy fritters. The trout was tender but firm, complemented well by the lime creme fraiche. Cucumber, onion and coriander salsa finished it off with a bit of zing. An excellent dish.
I saw a couple of urbanspoon reviews complaining about portion size – they must have come on a bad day. As you can see above, the portions are hardly small… I’ve been to places where the ‘corn fritters’ dish contains one corn fritter. Yes, one. Personally I think the meals are pretty good value for the price, considering the quality and serving size. Perhaps they have followed the IKEA model of subsidising the cafe with profits from the furniture? (If you’ve seen their furniture prices, this will make complete sense. Surely it doesn’t cost anywhere near $5000 to make a coffee table?)
Either way, the Kitchen is worth a visit if you’re in the area. Those big windows make it mighty cold, so be sure to take a jacket in case you can’t get a spot next to the fireplace.The Kitchen 200 Gipps Street Abbotsford