It’s exciting seeing Melbourne develop. Past the confines of the city grid and inner city circle; but spreading far and wide into the suburbs. With Brad’s parents living out in Gembrook, it makes for a convenient base to visit the Eastern suburbs.
The Lakeside Mill is one such exciting development; and currently possibly the only reason I would make my way over Pakenham (although if anyone else has any other recommendations I’m happy to be proven wrong)!
Coffee window, cafe, cocktail bar and locally inspired degustation dinner destination all come together in a shiny new development with brass details, earthy woods and dark accents. Unexpected, but definitely not unwelcome to the area.
With chef Jake Kellie (ex-Estelle Bistro) at the helm, the day menu reads whimsical but familiar, scattered with plenty of locally sourced goodies. It’s definitely a much more approachable menu than what he was doing at Estelle Bistro previously; which he did mention was the challenge with the area - how to push the boundaries but still tick off the expectations for the area?
I’m surprised how gluten free friendly the menu is (who the heck does gluten free banana bread by choice? I’m impressed), and am tickled with how interesting, yet delicious the menu reads as well.
But before food, coffee, and chai of course, and both are treated with care. My spiced wet chai is creamy, spicy with a lovely deep tea flavour. I’m tempted to have two.
I’m always eyeing off waffles dishes on menus, but they’re usually full of gluten (obviously) and of the sweet variety; which I usually can’t justify for breakfast. However, at the Lakeside Mill the waffles are savoury and gluten free. How does a girl say no?
Topped with beetroot, quinoa, wattleseed and goats cheese, the waffles are a delightful medley of textures and flavours. Crunchy wattleseed, intensely creamy goats cheese and such sweet beetroot all marry together perfectly. The waffles are light, fluffy and airy too.
Brad opted for the pasta (which is also gluten free surprisingly) with tomato fondue, mozzarella, basil crumb and olives. I loved the balance in this, hearty in it’s rich abundance and variation in flavour, but not heavy at all. Zesty yet sweet tomatoes mingling with light and vibrant mozzarella. Hitting the flavour palates in all the right places.
And because we were technically getting lunch and not brunch at this hour, I couldn’t resist a side of hand cut kipfler potato chips with rosemary salt and aioli. Loved the rustic feel of the chips, with the skins still on, golden on the outside but lovely and fluffy on the inside.
Although the day time menu is very approachable and pleasant, by night Jake Kellie flexes the creative muscle with dishes that make use of the best ingredients from the surrounding regions at an astonishingly affordable price of $80 for 5 courses and nibbles. Hanging out to come back!
But in the mean time, I’d be more than happy to pop by again for brunch; in a time where I find myself getting a bit bored of generic brunch fair, the Lakeside Mill is definitely one of my recent favourite brunch/lunch ventures which is both innovative but comforting and homely at the same time.
1/38 Lakeside Boulevard