65-71 Barrabool Road
(03) 5241 2933
It was a joyous occasion when Darriwill Farm opened its Highton doors some years ago. Finally there was a place in the little Belle Vue Avenue shopping centre serving breakfasts and lunches that strayed from the usual bacon and eggs or salad rolls, and whose coffee could be depended on for its consistency. Darriwill is an innovative cafe with a shop attached, selling a range of condiments, gifts, wines and kitchenware that may not be found elsewhere. The cafe has a regularly changing menu as well as a specials board that changes daily – a highlight being the grazing plate, a platter of little goodies that lets you sample a range of delicious things from the menu in bite sized serves.
Prawn pasta (about $18)
This was a dish from the specials board, described by our waitress as “spaghetti with tiger prawns, rocket, roasted red peppers and capers”. What came out was the spaghetti, prawns and rocket, with red onion and peas. We joked that perhaps the waitress had confused peas with capers, and thought that maybe the red sauce the pasta was in had been made from roasted red peppers. It was a good dish with big, juicy prawns and a very nice sauce, but it was a little heavy on the peas and quite different to the dish that I was expecting to come out.
Big breakfast $21.40
A good, classic big brekky – although perhaps a little pricey.
Chicken, cannellini bean and red onion quesadilla with a Cajun prawn and avocado salsa dressed salad (about $18)
A great example of Darriwill’s innovative dishes and signature “stack” style serving method. There’s a lot going on on this plate yet it all works.
French toast with smoked salmon, roast tomato and pumpkin, rocket, honey roasted almond flakes and a lemon aioli (about $18)
The cafe seems to like to take classic dishes, like French toast or eggs Benedict, and reinvent them somewhat. This was a lovely brunch dish. The sauces and dressings at Darriwill are always delicious and this lemon aioli was a winner.
Caesar salad (about $15)
This is probably the least exciting dish I’ve seen come out of the kitchen. It’s fine for a simple Caesar but I was surprised at the average quality of that bed of lettuce.
French toast with smoked salmon, rocket, capers and basil pesto oil (about $15)
This dish came from the specials board, another take on the classic French toast. The whole dish was a triumph, with each flavour working together perfectly and the basil pesto oil leaving you wanting more without overpowering the rest of the dish.
The Highton shopping centre now has many more dining options than it had in years gone by, and there’s plenty of places to get a more traditional breakfast/brunch/lunch if that’s what you’re looking for, but if you’re after something a little different and coffee you know you can depend on Darriwill Farm is worth a visit.