Second Home is a large cafe housed in an Alistair Knox-designed brick industrial building in Eltham. It’s by cafe maestro Jason Jones (The Stables of Como, Friends of Mine, Go West) and worth a special trip to the leafy ‘burbs.
Second Home takes the bones of the 70s building and transforms it into a light-filled, expansive dining room, courtyard and art gallery set amongst the gum trees. The kind of stylish, warm place that I WISH is my home.
I adore the olive tree taking centre stage.
Prime position are the tables along the cushioned banquette lining the walls, though in winter right in front of the wood fire would be ideal. The tables are all lined with butcher’s paper so kids can scribble to their heart’s content.
The menu is large and shares many similarities to Jones’ other cafes, with separate sections for bready things, healthy things and sprinklings of cheekiness. Lunch is a build-your-own affair with a rotation of proteins plus salads and main meals.
A lighter menu has just been installed for spring/summer but I remember the dark hot chocolate from winter. Luckily they are still serving it (while there are still some marshmallows left) and the huggable mug of slick chocolate is soothing to the soul. Those needing a caffeine hit will note that the coffee is made with Rosso beans, a supplier for most of Jones’ cafes.
I try the pink dragon fruit bowl of banana, kiwi, berries, coconut and buckinis. It’s like a giant smoothie so on my waitress’ recommendation I add the optional granola ($4) for textural crunch.
The hot cake comes straight off the pan, fluffy and warm and topped with berries and mascarpone and maple syrup on the side.
Baby 2.0 devours the molten slabs of triple cheese toast ($12.90) in a few greedy mouthfuls along with his green smoothie ($9.90). Lady AB enjoys her version of the McMuffin ($6.90) with ‘famous’ golden folded eggs, grandmother ham and cheese sandwiched abetween a toasted English muffin.
Second Home brings inner city cool to the suburbs in a uniquely beautiful setting. If you’re not local Eltham makes an enjoyable day trip with Montsalvat and the Diamond Valley Railway just a short drive away.
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- standard menu suitable for kids;
- drawing and colouring-in;
- outdoor courtyard;
- disabled toilet with change table;
- free limited parking on site; and
- Montsalvat and the Diamond Valley Railway close by.