Over the past weekend, I heard through Jo that Denis the Menace had just opened up in Cremorne (which we all know is really just Richmond), and couldn’t resist checking out the new addition with Brad.
I used to love the Dennis the Menace comic (the UK version which featured the black haired kid) and his dog Gnasher, and was absolutely tickled to find references to this comic throughout the menu. Talk about nostalgia!
The cafe was once a warehouse, now friendly and approachable cafe, bright and light, bringing in warmth with lots of greenery dotted around the tables, herbs growing between booth seats and mandarin trees for good measure as well.
Like the name suggests, the space also looks pretty kid friendly, with generously spacious booths (with tabletops that look like they’re made out of doors) and wide spaces big enough for prams to make their way through.
The menu is huge, with meals for moderate eating, hungry tums and lunch-y things. It also reads a total treat, and I seriously struggle making a decision as what to eat. There’s an obvious health slant to the menu (and a bit of an obsession with quinoa which is in the majority of dishes), but it doesn’t read like that, with lots of playful and rather cheeky little descriptions. It is a lot of text first thing in the morning though and I have to ponder if you have to list an item as meat free, if it’s already listed as vegetarian as well?
Since it’s just their first week, they’re obviously still finding their feet and their groove, with coffee orders taking a little bit of time to come out, but the complimentary sparkling water that’s served helps keep me distracted.
Brad’s coffee looks beautiful, and my house chai is sweet, obviously with generous amounts of honey, and a hint of spice in the back of the palate. An easy and sweet way to start the morning.
Brad’s ‘Watashi Wa Dennis’ came out looking bright and colourful. It’s an omelette with a Japanese spin with spanner crab, shichimi, mung bean shallots, alfalfa, shies, miso sauce, tobiko, fresh herbs and a seaweed salad. Wow, lots of yum. The spanner crab flavour isn’t diluted, the omelette is lovely, light and fluffy, and the miso sauce is simply all flavour. A little bit of flavour envy from my end for sure.
My ‘bowl full of yum’, with red and black rice, quinoa, adzuki beans, lentils, buckwheat, almonds, pistachios, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley, duke and a mizuma mustard vinaigrette isn’t quite as pretty to look at, but is still very tasty. Earthly flavours, nutty and plenty of texture to chew on, if you want something protein packed that leaves you full but feeling light as well, this is your dish.
All in all, a great spot if you want to sneakily feed someone things that are good for them, and surprisingly, mostly meat free. I enjoyed the bright space, and the easy going vibe to the place. I look forward to them finding their stride in service, and coming back to get the muesli next time (was such a close decision between the bowl of yum and that…)
Denis the Menace
106-108 Chestnut Street