There's always time for brunch and on this edition we headed out to Bayswater to check out The Hatter and the Hare, a much hyped Alice in Wonderland themed cafe out in the 'burbs. With a whimsical and magical menu...did it meet the high expectations it sets online?
Despite the hype surrounding the cafe the line up wasn't too long, partly assisted by the huge space that they have to work with being out in the suburbs. Not your typical spot for brunch it is in an industrial area but don't worry, the brunch crowd travels anywhere for a good meal :)
As our numbers were at 3 for this weekend we had three dishes. First to arrive (albeit VERY slowly) was the Benedictine Adventure (Korean BBQ Pulled Pork, Poached Eggs, House Hashbrowns, Kimchi Remoulade, Pickle, BBQ sauce, Hollandaise (GF)). I really enjoyed this dish considering how skeptical I was of the Korean fusion aspect of it. The kim chi was not too spicy at all and was balanced well with the creaminess of the hollandaise and saltiness of the house made hash brown. Serious respect for the hashbrown as it is everything you could ask for from a perfect hashbrown, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not normally a fan of pulled pork or bbq sauce but they just added to the flavour bomb that was this dish, though I could say the pork could've been softer as it was a little tough to chew.
Next up, A Knight’s Quest (Buttermilk & Potato Waffle, Southern Fried Chicken, Maple Bacon Crumb, Chipotle-infused Maple, Chipotle Butter). Brilliance on a plate, what else can I say? Potato waffles were AMAZING and crunchy with the perfect seasoning that went well with the chicken. Huge call out...THE CHICKEN WAS NOT DRY which was a good thing as well as the dish did need a bit more liquid as it was (more maple?). Chipotle butter wasn't needed on the dish but did taste pretty good, less is more in some cases though.
Last....and also least Dinah’s Treat (Banana Ricotta Hotcakes, Earl Grey Custard, Macerated Strawberries, Chocolate soil, Popcorn Brittle) was a HUGE letdown. I was looking forward to this only to be let down by the lack of cohesion in the dish that I suspect was meant to come from the Earl Grey custard poured over the dish. This ruined it, with a consistency more similar to milk than a sauce/custard. It gave the dish a watery taste that ruined the experience entirely.
Overall, savouries are worth a visit and the dishes were beautiful to the point where the Instagram fame seems worth it. The atmosphere is buzzing but a bit loud for any conversation indoors so try and get a seat outside if you can. The cakes in the display cabinet also looked BEAUTIFUL so perhaps stick to those rather than have a try of the hotcakes? Just a thought.
Presentation (5): 4
Taste (5): 3.5
Service (5): 2.5
Atmosphere (5): 3