If you’re around Westfield Southland but don’t fancy eating in the food court, seek out Frank’s. It’s a fantastic cafe hidden away in the residential streets of Cheltenham, under the shadow of the behemoth shopping centre.
Frank’s is known as ‘Cheltenham’s local’ and it is a highlight amongst an otherwise unremarkable strip of suburban shops. It’s buzzing with activity on a weekday lunchtime.
The space is split over two shopfronts and the dining area encloses the central coffee making area, cake cabinet and kitchen.
One side has slightly more room for prams and there are numerous high chairs available. The toilets are large and able to fit a pram, but don’t contain change facilities.
The food coming out of the open kitchen is a fusion of Asian and Western influences by Eli Faye (ex-head pastry chef at Tommy Collins events and ex-head chef at Golden Child in Glen Iris). On a weekend that tiny kitchen can pump out 400 covers!
From the lunch menu (available from 10:30am for early birds like me!) I choose the beef rib bao ($19). Three soft pillows envelope chunks of tender beef, piquant daikon kimchi, chilli kewpie mayo and a rough hairdo of shredded cabbage. It’s food that’s unexpectedly sophisticated for the quiet suburban location.
For dessert I have the mini cinnamon doughnuts with soft toasted meringue, vanilla ice cream, poached rhubarb and white chocolate ($16.50). If you have a sweet tooth this is a must do, particularly for the fluffy-crunchy combo of the doughnuts and meringue.
All the cakes and pastries are made on site and are very reasonably priced. This delectable chocolate brownie is $6.50.
The kids menu is printed on a colouring-in sheet (coloured pencils provided) and contains fairly standard items, including a substantial ham, cheese and tomato toastie that costs only $5.
Frank’s is a fantastic option for Cheltenham (and surrounding bayside) families. Within walking distance is a tiny playground at Friendship Square or venture inside Westfield Southland for the only Vjunior cinema in Melbourne – a cinema designed by and for children.
- Pram access;
- High chairs;
- Standard menu suitable for kids;
- Children’s menu;
- Free street parking; and
- Walking distance to Friendship Square park and playground; and
- Close to Westfield Southland (and VJunior cinema).
Frank’s 97 Cavanagh Street, Cheltenham