Hi Café Lovers!
Welcome back to Cards and Cafés!
SMÄK Food House located just off Melbourne’s trendy Chapel Street and is the home of healthy meals and good coffee. The founders saw the need for a café that offered healthier options, and in 2016 they opened the café.
Pronounced ‘smark’, the word smäk is the Swedish word for taste.
The café is still fairly new to the area, but is quickly leaving its mark as one of the healthier cafes in the area. With a number of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, this is definitely the café to go to if you have a strict diet.
Let’s be honest, the parking around this area can be quite challenging, as Chapel Street is always so busy. But, I’m sure you’ll find a spot either along Chapel Street or one of the many side streets.
The Café itself isn’t the easiest to find, as it is tucked in along Daly Street. So, if you are coming from Chapel Street, you need to walk round and past The Olsen Hotel and it will be on your right hand side.
I went with my friend Beth for our weekly Saturday café adventure.
There are no split bills on weekends.
FOOD & DRINKS
As I said before, SMÄK Food House has a fantastic menu that accommodates people with vegetarian, vegan or gluten free diets and it is great to see that it has multiple options for each.
SMÄK Food House uses the St Ali Coffee Roasters blend for all their coffees.
The following menu photos were taken in July 2017 and might have changed since.
I ordered a cappuccino and was glad to see that it was nice and hot when it arrived at the table. This full-bodied coffee was just what I needed on that Saturday morning. It’s rich and creamy texture was great, as was the strong and fantastic flavour.
Coffee rating: 4/5
Beth ordered a chai latte and thought that the presentation was great! At first, she was unimpressed with the price, but excused it after seeing the generous serving size.
The chai was nice and warm, and not overly sweet.
Chai rating: 3/5
I ordered the waffled rosti benedict, with orange braised ham hock, thyme sweet potato waffled rosti, poached eggs and green apple yuzu hollandaise.
The dish was plated beautifully, but I thought that the serving size was quite small for the price I paid. I was still quite hungry once I had finished my dish, and I had to eat again when I got home.
I don’t have a problem with cafes wanting to serve smaller portions, and as this is a health focused café I can totally understand. But why should I pay the same price as I would pay at a café down the road for a serving that it quite a lot smaller?
I personally think they should either make their potions slightly larger or slightly drop their price.
But anyway, back to the food….
I enjoyed the dish, but there was something about the flavours of the dish that I couldn’t get my head around. The dish was definitely missing something, as the flavours were a bit bland for my personal tastes. I had to add salt, which made it a bit better. I personally couldn’t taste orange flavours of the ham hock and I felt this was the element that needed more flavour.
I think that there should have been more fresh apple on the plate, as the small amount that was there was barely noticeable. I think that little bit of freshness would have made a huge difference, as the apple would have complemented the flavours of the ham hock.
But the eggs were cooked perfectly and I enjoyed the rosti waffle, which added an excellent crunch to the dish.
For breakfast Beth ordered the Moroccan pumpkin and chickpea fritters, with smashed coconut peas, avocado, poached egg and puffed rice noodle.
Beth thought that the flavours of the dish were good, as there were a range of interesting spices.
The fritters themselves weren’t very crunchy, but soft and almost gooey on the inside. Beth personally didn’t mind, but knows that others might have a problem with this.
She loved the addition of the puffed rice noodle, as it added that crunchy element to the dish and added a subtle flavour. The poached egg was cooked well, as it still had a runny yolk and a firm white.
However, the serving size was quite small considering the price of the dish and Beth was also left a bit hungry after finishing.
ENVIRONMENT & SERVICE
The service wasn’t great, as we were seated and then forgotten about. We waited between 5-10 minutes before we had to ask for a menu and then waited an extra 10 minutes to get our drinks and food orders taken.
The staff didn’t come and check on us and sort of left us to do our own thing.
Even though the café is decorated beautifully, it is awfully noisy inside. Beth and I sat next to each other and we could barely hear what the other was saying. I guess this is due to the side of the café we sat on, as it has solid brick walls, a concrete floor and the massive concrete support pole.
They do have a number of tables outside, which would be a great spot to sit once they have finished all the road works and renovations in the street.
We thought that the green plants scattered throughout the café brought some life to the room and added some colour to the grey tones of the concrete floor and the timber colour of the tables.
The environment itself was quite relaxed, but as it was quite noisy inside, we didn’t stay very long.
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT SMÄK FOOD HOUSE
Address: 6 Daly St, South Yarra, Melbourne, (Vic)
Phone: (03) 8560 2146
Monday –Friday –7:30 am- 3:30 pm
Saturday –Sunday – 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
CAFÉ RATING = 6.5/10
Have you visited SMÄK Food House before? Tell me what you thought of it. Do you have any suggestions of cafe’s to visit?
Comment down below, I’m always looking for somewhere new to try.
Until next time,