4th September 2017
414 Burke Rd
Camberwell, VIC 3124
It had taken 3 painful (but also highly amusing) years, but my sister is finally able to be in Chris’ company without succumbing to spasms of giggles and embarrassment. This development makes me incredibly happy; aside from the obvious fact that I like it when two of my favourite people get along, it also means that I now have my very own squad to go out for brunch with. So last Sunday, I decided that we were going to go strut our stuff at The Baker’s Wife.
As its name suggests, The Baker’s Wife is a cafe with an emphasis on its baked goods. But there is so much more to it than just the loaves of bread in the window, or the tarts in the cabinet – it’s also a place for the community to gather. The deceptively huge space was packed to its echoing rafters with everyone from mums celebrating a first birthday, to older couples on double dates. But despite the size of the place, The Baker’s Wife feels far from impersonal. The space is warm and comfortable, with ample greenery, colourful murals, and rustic knick knacks. Topped off with chirpy service, The Baker’s Wife feels like a locals’ haunt for sure.
My go-to Skinny Flat White ($3.8) was very good. The Allpress Coffee blend was sweet with caramel notes, complemented by silky smooth milk. My sister’s Maple Konomi Matcha ($5) boasted a fragrant honeyed aroma, without overwhelming the delicate freshness of the matcha.
I had my eyes on the Baghdad Eggs ($22.5) from the get-go, a decision corroborated by the rest of the squad (yes I insist on calling them that). The grilled flatbread was layered with sweet and nutty pumpkin hummus, and two eggs fried with cumin and lemon butter. The thick-cut slices of sujuk were a highlight; the sausage dense and heartily spiced, its richness balanced with a cooling drizzle of yoghurt and a handful of crunchy pomegranate.
And look at the colour of that yolk! Some good free range eggs were used here!
After a vigorous around-table debate, we settled on the Slow Cooked Brisket ($22) as our other savoury dish. I loved the fiery Tex-Mex influence in this dish – the toothsome baked beans were smoky and spicy, the brisket slathered with a rich BBQ sauce, and crunchy fried green tomatoes were a revelation. With the addition of jalapeno yoghurt, and stream of yolk from the poached egg, all the distinctive flavours came together as a cohesive whole. At least I think they did – my sister scoffed this up so quickly I could barely get seconds!
Now here’s the best bit about dining with more people – being able to order dessert. The crisp Challah French Toast ($19) hid a fluffy, buttery centre that soaked up the maple syrup we greedily drizzled over. It’s almost too indulgent, but the tart berries and lemon curd just manage to hold it back. It’s a near thing though, especially with the scoop of brûléed mascarpone on the side.
All in all, I thought The Baker’s Wife was a pretty good jam. The environment is lovely, the vibe is attractive, and the food is interesting and tasty. I will admit that despite all of the above, The Baker’s Wife does lack a little bit of the pizzazz that comes with a really good brunch spot, whilst having a relatively hefty price tag. I enjoyed my meal at The Baker’s Wife and I would gladly go back, just not over the more exciting places around town.
Rating: 13.5/20 – more of a mistress than a wife.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.