Type of Venue: Cafe
Cuisine: Middle Eastern-inspired brunch food
Highly Recommended: Organic Apple & Dragon Fruit Bircher, Haloumi Bruschetta, Warm Pumpkin, Quinoa & Beetroot Salad, Banana & Honey Smoothie
Channelling an upmarket feel with their marble tabletops and shiny white tiling, High Society Cafe has been a long-time favourite amongst Armadale locals seeking their daily coffee, or wanting to upload a pretty breakfast post for the day. Although located along the retail end of High Street, its signature black awning and white picket fence are easily spotted from far away.
Newcomer Steffi took over the cafe a few months ago from the previous owners, inspired by her passion for trying different brunch-friendly cafe’s around Melbourne and wanting to own one of her own. Her background in hospitality has helped to ease the transition between owners, with little-to-no disruption to the menu, staff or daily operation of this popular cafe.
The style of food and drinks offered remains the same, utilising Middle Eastern flavours in contemporary breakfast and lunch dishes. White plates are filled with vibrantly-coloured ingredients, making your meal equally exciting to admire as it is to eat. Classic breakfast options can include porridge, a chilli scramble or sweet-loving pancakes; whilst blue corn tacos and other lunch items provide a bit more creative intrigue.
(“Where’s Marcel?” coffee beans)
A dish that could make you insta-famous thanks to its presentation alone, the Organic Apple & Dragon Fruit Bircher is a mesmerising juxtaposition of pink and green colours, exuding a sense of healthiness mixed with anticipation of what it will taste like. The pink bircher is a delicious assortment of apple slices, dragon fruit, sultanas, roasted brazil nuts, inca berries and oats, topped with a dollop of Coyo to further lighten the flavours of the dish. If you’re wondering, the green soup-like component is an avocado and kale coulis, topped with fresh mango chunks.
Although a great bircher, I question the need for the avocado and kale coulis, as its flavours seemed a bit too contrasting to the bircher, and did not add anything to the dish in terms of taste. But, it definitely contributes to an eye-catching presentation.
Organic Apple & Dragon Fruit Bircher ($14.90)
One for my fellow haloumi lovers out there, the Haloumi Bruschetta is a generously served dish, whose inclusion of a single poached egg on the side supports its suitability as a breakfast dish as much as a lunch dish. Pan-fried squares of haloumi are enjoyably chewy, interspersed with a medley of tomatoes whose acidity cuts through the richness of the haloumi. Accompanied by smashed avocado smeared on nicely toasted sourdough bread, it is the creamy dukkah spiced yoghurt that successfully ties all of the ingredients together, delivering an enjoyably cohesive dish.
Haloumi Bruschetta ($17.00)
If you’re feeling hungry yet feel the need to be healthy, the Warm Pumpkin, Quinoa & Beetroot Salad is a must. Crunchy textures of quinoa, red onion, hazelnuts, feta, mint, dukkah and pomegranate seeds are combined with smashed avocado, accompanied by cumin roasted pumpkin and beetroot. This dish ticks all the boxes, including its vegetarian-friendly appeal.
Warm Pumpkin, Quinoa & Beetroot Salad ($17.00)
Weekly specials may feature a Moroccan Chicken Salad or Seafood Pasta, just to throw some extra creative flare into the mix. To wash everything down, their Super Smoothies are perfectly cooling, and tasty enough to even become a light meal or snack on its own.
Banana & Honey ($11.50)
(peanut butter, banana, honey, milk, banana chips)
(organic acai, blueberries, banana, peanut butter, almond milk,
vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, coconut flakes)
A changing of the guard is often seen in today’s fickle hospitality industry. Changes can be seen as either a benefit or a detriment, with the line being drawn where the cafe or restaurant is able to determine what makes them successful, and thus play to those strengths. High Society Cafe is a clear competitor in Melbourne’s saturated cafe scene, with Steffi’s desire to preserve the cafe’s style and offerings being a clever move to minimise a publicly perceptive change in their reputation. However, it still remains important for all cafe’s to continually transform and improve themselves, so as to avoid stagnation, and add something different to the cafe scene. I look forward to seeing how High Society Cafe continues to achieve this balance, and separate themselves from the rest.
Note: I dined as a guest of High Society Cafe. Thank you to Steffi and the staff for their generous hospitality throughout our experience.
High Society Cafe
1102 High Street
Armadale, VIC 3143
Ph: (03) 9509 4993
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm.