My thoughts on the café culture in Australia

My thoughts on the café culture in Australia

I moved to Australia about 8 years ago now from England and it was a big culture shock for me as it seems like the whole hospitality industry operates in a completely different way... which isn’t a bad thing. I mean cafes and bars are the basis of the main business, which people flock to in their best get-up. It is the first social meeting of the weekend and it’s definitely not the last. It’s as if breakfast is the new dinner and it’s the biggest social scene around. People get dressed up and queue up outside a café for 20 minutes to have their favourite coffee and they know the blends 40% Arabica from Tanzania with 20% Ethiopian yirgacheffe 40% Ugandan Robusta. Then they chat with friends and family, try to book tables of 15 so they can all sit together, and discuss how bad their working week is.

I have been a chef for 15 years and I have never heard of anyone booking a table for breakfast it is so foreign to me. And breakfast isn’t breakfast it’s a dining experience with flavours from all over the world and cooking styles you see in modern day restaurants. Long gone are the days of full breakfast or the big Aussie brekkie, people now want a bit of class, not snotty or presumptuous food, they want home made fresh organic low GI products, paleo food. Dishes with prosciutto, Iberico ham, heirloom tomatoes and sweet foods like banana bread, French toast or chocolate waffles.

The scene has evolved fast and won’t stop, I see house cured salmon and Boston style beans now like it’s a set standard and a must have of any good venue, and there’s more and more cafes opening every day, fine dining is long gone and it’s the time for cafes and bars with social food to take the spotlight and shine in the glory they have earnt and deserve.

Frazer Henderson
Head Chef
Kettle & Tin

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