What follows actually wasn’t my first visit to The Stables of Como. Jen and I had originally visited back in January, but the day of said visit coincided with a stinking hot day that ended up abruptly turning into a violent cool change. So despite the food being great I didn’t feel like it was fair to blog about it given that first the insane heat and then the squally winds accompanied by swirls of dust greatly hampered our dining experience sitting out of doors.
But I wanted a second visit more than anything on a day with more auspicious weather, as I felt it was a place more than worthy of blogging about, and thankfully a catch up with Bennett that necessitated a venue accessible from the No. 8 tram was just the ticket.
Set in the grounds of historical Como House, the cafe is obviously in a very picturesque spot. There’s plenty of seating outside in the old stables courtyard, but indoors manages to cram in a lot of tables into a very vibrant space – and make sure you take a moment to go investigate the overloaded cakes cabinet, which is a sweet feast for the eyes. I’m still not sure how I managed to escape running off without a bag of cakes at the end, but it may be because my savoury breakfast filled all necessary holes.
That breakfast was the smashed avocado with thyme-buttered mushrooms, feta cheese, basil, flat-leaf parsley and one poached egg, served on two small slices of seedy bread. This dish looked a bit small on first glance, but its rich components, especially the salt-packed feta, gives it significant heft in terms of filling you. The mushrooms were soft with just a touch of bite, and hadn’t been over-herbed, giving a mild thyme overlay. The egg was not quite at optimum gooeyness, but still didn’t tip over into over-cooked, yielding a nice river of yellow once popped. What I actually ended up appreciating most, somewhat surprisingly, was the fresh whole basil leaves, which added just the right note of flavour that pulled all the components together. I ordinarily wouldn’t have thought to pair basil with avocado, but here it worked.
Bennett built his own eggy breakfast – folded herbed eggs with bacon and smashed avocado. This was a nicely huge dish in comparison to mine, the eggs looked smooth and creamy, the bacon fat and not overly crisped. It all disappeared with alacrity, so I assume it was great!
I also had two flat whites during our visit, they were nice and smooth texturally, not too bitter, perfectly enjoyable.
This place packs out on a weekend – it was bustling like anything all through our visit, and be warned that if you sit inside the noise levels get pretty deafening. It’s lucky that Bennett and I are fairly used to bellowing at each other, athough at one point I was on the phone to Schaefer and I know I agreed to *something* he said, but I have no idea what it was. Lord knows what I’ve been roped into.
You should also expect from the location that you’ll be paying Toorak prices – everything is a few dollars more expensive than they probably should be, but considering the Stables are attached to Como House and I presume is assisting the National Trust in keeping the site running and in tip top condition, I don’t really begrudge it. Make sure you visit when you yourself are feeling flush is my best advice. Apparently there’s also afternoon tea menus where you can take advantage of all those cakes, and picnic basket options where you can take your spread into the gardens to enjoy. Sounds delightful to me!
The Stables of Como
Como House & Garden, cnr Williams Road & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra
Ph: 9827 6886