Jeremy has shot off on a boys trip to Japan. Partying in Tokyo, road tripping down to Osaka, marvelling in the magic of Himeji Castle… I’m pretty damn jealous! We have our getaway to the US later this year so while he’s away I’m just focusing on what’s to come – and appreciating that before he left we managed to squeeze in a few eating outings to maximise our time together. One of those stops: The Little Banksia in Kensington.
It’s a small neighbourhood cafe; humble in appearance but busy even despite it being a Wednesday when we’re there. With rumbly bellies, we descended upon one of the sunlit rooms to hide from the heat but enjoy the daylight. A slightly strange smell met us which I think might have been the baby at a nearby table – it thankfully dissipated eventually or maybe it was just we got used to it!
Throughout the venue are lush green plants, which is my favourite thing about modern decor. Since I’ve basically transformed our house into a plant shop, it makes me feel right at home.
The menu has something for everyone and dips into your standard brunch territory with some elements that stand it apart from the pack. We picked quickly, our grumbly bellies demanding to be fed before we retired home to chill out and relax.
First up: our drinks. We both were completely craving milkshakes ($6.50 each) so we picked a chocolate for Jeremy and a strawberry one for me. Creamy, satisfying and sweet. I prefer a thickshake personally, but I guess when accompanying food a thinner version is preferable for most people.
I was hoping my boy would order the double patty chicken burger – so much so that I may have tipped the scale when he considered the poke bowl as an alternative! But my slight coercion tactics paid off, and the monster meal came out – a buttermilk fried chicken burger with spicy jalapeño slaw, chipotle aioli on a brioche bun and a side of sweet potato crisps ($17.50).
It looks insane. It is just so damn big!
But squishing it down to fit into an achievable bite, it became manageable and we soon discovered it was a delight. The chicken was super juicy, and the coating on the outside was crunchy and so satisfying. I liked that there were spices such as coriander seeds etc included in the batter, providing depth of flavour beyond the wonderfully cooked protein.
While I snuck some nibbles of Jeremy’s meal, I selected the buttermilk pancakes with roast peach and rhubarb, kaffir lime, macadamia praline, sabayon and maple ($16.50). Normally I’m always savoury over sweet, but there was something about this dish that called my name – and rightly so. It was yum!
The fluffiest of fluffy pancakes stacked up on the plate, working well with the roasted fruits that were soft but still had some bite to them. I didn’t love the sabayon, but it wasn’t really necessary anyway since there was the maple syrup for moisture and the praline for crunch. The creamy element would have been welcome but not absolutely needed.
It was great that the pancakes really shone as the hero on the plate – but I do have to admit I’m thinking about that rhubarb still. Delicious.
And a perfect way to spend the day with the love of my life. Bliss!