The inner west that was mostly industrial was now had quite a facelift and is inundated with more cafes than ever. A few of my favourites are located quite close to me, but I love branching out and finding other good eats in the area too. This is how I found Illi Hill. Previously a corner shop and butcher, this café promises plenty of choices for everyone, vegans and gluten free too. The menu changes seasonally and in divided into breakfast and lunch, although you are free to order from whichever tickles your fancy.
Breakfast salad anyone?
As per usual, a café visit starts with a round of drinks, as much as I’d like a coffee, having a 3rd cup that day would have tipped me over. So better steer clear and opt for a milder option. (Trust me, a caffeinated up me isn’t pretty.)
We were so glad when we saw the non-dairy smoothie on the menu as the dining buddy is lactose intolerant. The green smoothie tasted anything but green and earthy, it was slightly sweet with a nice tang to it. I would definitely order it again!
The weather was getting cold when we visited, so a hot drink was needed to warm up our souls. Soy chai is our go-to whenever we café hop, The version at Illi Hill is on the weak side but we have both yet to find a chai that is both strong enough for both of us, with exception to the sticky chai from Circa. Let us know if you know of a good strong chai!
Mushrooms on toast
Don’t be fooled by the simple description, this dish was my pick of the day. Juicy field mushrooms were paired with tangy tomatoes and a house made pepita dukkah, complementing the saltiness of the feta perfectly. The sourdough was a bit on the tough side, so we ended up going hands-on. What etiquette?!?
Salad of 6 hour roasted lamb shoulder
I only ever order a salad if there is a substantial amount of protein attached to it, because truthfully speaking, I’m not a cow grazing the fields, so bring on the meat! This 6 hour roasted lamb did not disappoint flavour-wise. Tender and flavoursome, it was however a bit on the dry side. The serving size of this salad is massive though, I’m known to demolish food but even I struggled to finish it! Must be the hefty amount of grains and greens!
Gluten free lychee rose and coconut cake
We were about to grab the bill when I spotted some sweet delicacies on the front counter. They looked too pretty to pass up so I talked my dining buddy into sharing one with me. After much decision-phobia, we opted for the mini gluten free lychee rose and coconut cake. The cake was lightly scented but strong in flavour, crumbly, buttery and moist, albeit a tad on the sweet side. I would definitely come back for the other versions!
So what do you look for in a cafe? I love a cafe with a cosy homely feel. Let me know yours in the comments below!
Till next time,