Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy River Cafe

45 Moreland St
Footscray, VIC 3011
(03) 9689 3244
Open Tue-Sun 8am-6pm

Last week we ate at Feedback which was once owned by the lovely ladies of Happy River, so it felt only right to have our breakfast at their latest venture, (although they have been here for some time now).

My previous experiences at Happy River have mainly been morning or afternoon tea out the front. On sunny days it is a lovely spot to hang out, providing toys and of course lots of grass for the kids to run around on. Space is always a bonus with toddlers.
Going inside to sit was a first for me and being a cool morning I was very interested to see how it would feel. It was bigger than what I thought it would be and I really didn’t know what to make of it and I’m not sure if I do now.
One of the things that put me off were the tablecloths, they just didn’t do it for me, however for R they reminded her of her childhood with lots of warm fuzzies. Maybe I would call them cute, maybe!
I love the open kitchen mainly because I can watch what is happening by the stove but also because I can see the hot boy (in his early 20’s) quietly doing the dishes, nothing like some eye candy to keep you coming back to a place!
Table service starts well but falls behind as the hours slip by, (yes again it was 12.00 before we left). Unfortunately their selection of tea is limited and was not overly appealing and can you believe it, those damned tea pots again. (see picture at the gravy train review) . I’m sorry if my usage of words is a bit harsh but I just don’t get it. Why can’t people see through these teapots and use their imagination a bit. A café is not just all about coffee, put some thought into the Tea!

The breakfast was fine but I’m afraid to say I think they left the better chef at Feedback. Last week I raved about the breakfast at Feedback and I had very good reason to. This week the breakfast at Happy River has gone back to the middle of the road breakfast that I have been getting around town. Just a couple of points, when poaching an egg has anyone heard about the whirlpool method. You make a whirlpool in the water by swirling it with a spoon and in the middle you gently crack the egg in. This method produces a very presentable and professional poached egg. The eggs I received today were not whirlpool eggs, they were feral poached eggs(and while some of you may prefer feral) they just don’t look that good. The other thing to remember when serving poached eggs is that the customer prefers you to leave the poaching water in the pot and not add it to their toast. Soggy toast is extremely unappetising. On a good note, they served lemon with the spinach which was lovely.

As I said earlier, to get our second pot of tea, it took quite a while. Every time the waitress came by I thought at any moment she is going to stop at our table and see if we want anything else. She didn’t, so we had to stop her . The café had a lot of staff, all seemingly busy but as far as I could tell not achieving much (the café was by no means full). From a business point of view I would think that selling food/drink would be a part of the waiting staff’s job, in the time that we were sitting there we could have had 3 pots of tea.

The Happy River café’s breakfast falls within the average price range of other cafes reviewed and it is certainly worth a visit.


Atmosphere - 7/10
Food - 6/10
Service - 7/10
Tea/Coffee - 6/10
Price - 8/10

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