Woven Cafe, 175b Stephen Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9973 5926
It was while scoping out the fit-out progress of Woven that I discovered, courtesy of a friendly local, that Stephen Street was once, many moons ago, actually the main drag of Yarraville.
All that changed, apparently, when the train line went through … and the main trading/retailing action switched to Anderson and Ballarat streets.
Makes sense really, as Stephen Street is a wide boulevard … it’s nice to see some activity returning to an area away from the village proper.
It’s sweet, too, for the four of us troupe off to try out the newly-opened Woven.
Disclosure – Dan, one of the Woven partners, and his family are a long-time CTS buddies and attendees of CTS Feasts.
But as this is an impromptu lunch, not Dan nor anyone else involved knows we’re coming, though we are outed soon after being seated.
Doesn’t matter – as on every other occasion when folks have twigged bloggers are in the house, the food we receive is the same as all the other customers.
So is the fine service.
Woven is a compact space that has been fitted out beautifully.
With its outdoor seating and smartly-chosen location, it’s a hit in the making.
The menu (see below) is tight and right, canvassing breakfast through lunch.
The other two lads opt for the “Bang Up Burger” ($18.50).
Both are really impressed.
Says the Bennie: “The cheese was nice, the salad was dressed, the patty was good, and the bacon and the sauce were good, too. It was all good! It all fitted together!”
The vibe I get from both Bennie and Julian is that this is a very enjoyable, solid burger.
Their meaty handfuls are abetted by “hand-cut twice-cooked chips”.
They’re fine things, indeed.
And with their skins and dimples and imperfections intact, they’re in the same tradition and mindset as the chips we get at this Newport joint.
If this is a trend we say: “Yay!”
I go the salad route with happy results.
The Moroccan chickpea salad with pickled carrots, fennel and tea-soaked currents ($16) comes with chorizo added for an extra $4.
Sometimes chorizo-added dishes – often pasta or salads – can be mean in the sausage department.
That’s certainly not the case here – there’s plenty of it, which is a good thing as it’s a mildly flavoured and seasoned dish and the chorizo adds needed spice and grease.
The carrots are only slightly pickled and I even add some salt.
But it’s all good, crunchy, fresh, wonderful and of very generous size – the chickpeas themselves are a buttery yellow and perfect.
The bread for Christine’s “lemon and herb chicken with aioli and rocket sanger” ($10) comes from another of our fave local haunts and my regular morning coffee stop.
The chicken tastes fine to me, and she gets the same chips on the side for an extra $3.
So … $13 all up? That’s a bargain right there!
We go without coffee – though with the other partner, Dave, at the coffee machine helm, I’m betting it’ll be brilliant when I do try it.
We hit the road for home and the other side of the tracks, stopping by for a sweet, cool treat at yet another local fave – one that is, I’m told, also a supplier to Woven.
Choc orange for him, apple pie for her, lavender and white choc for Bennie and myself …