Wednesday, 20 March 2013

ONCE A TAILOR - Blogger Event

727 Glenferrie Rd Hawthorn

We received a generous invitation from Eliza Howgate at Havey Publicity to attend a blogger event at relatively new cafe Once A Tailor.  Opened 8 months ago, Tony Verga has tried to put his Sicilian heritage into the crowded Glenferrie Rd precinct.

This site has gone through many cafe iterations, few of them any good, so it's good to see someone take on the challenge and come up with something different.  Glenferrie Rd is littered with more cafes than you can poke a stick at so this needed to have a unique position to compete.  Focusing on his Sicilian roots, and keeping the food simple with a focus on quality should see this venture successfully stand out from the crowd.

A great place to be on a warm summer's afternoon
The menu format for lunch was to sample some breakfast dishes and then move on to lunch.  For this reason, don't think that the servings pictured here are what you should expect!

Corn firtters with bacon and cherry tomato confit
 A classic breakfast combination which usually comes with a poached egg.  I often avoid ordering corn fritters because it's often soggy or overcooked.  Not this one, it was fresh, cohesive and well put together.

Quinoa porridge with raisins, pistachio, apricot and honey
I have to say that i'm not a huge fan of quinoa, so this was always going to be a struggle for me.  However the sweetness of the raisins, apricot and honey carry this dish well while the pistachios add some texture.  

Parmesan encrusted brioche with prosciutto and mescalun
This is a different style of brioche to your typical french example.  It's more foccacia like but it works well with the Sicilian theme.  As you would expect of an Italian themed cafe, the prosciutto is beautiful.  

Zucchini flower fritter topped with salsa verde
Another breakfast staple, the fritter is well executed, but could probably use a touch more seasoning.  Beautfully accompanied by the house made salsa verde and decorative microherbs.  

Beetroot carpaccio with poached rosemary infused chicken, rocket, persian fetta and honey mustard dressing
 This was great.  A simple clean salad of beetroot and rocket, lifted by the chicken which is infused with rosemary.  The balsamic adds a sweet kick. 

House baked olive foccacia

Beef and pork meat balls
Meatballs are a conundrum.  They seem easy, but there is nowhere to hide if you stuff it up.  Clean flavours, good texture, creamy passata complemented by house baked bread.  Simple, but a winner, particularly in winter.

Baked figs filled with goats cheeze, wrapped in prosciutto on sourdough and watercress drizzled with a balsamic glaze
The highlight of the day for me.  My favourite pizza is the fig and prosciutto at Pizza Espresso in Templestowe.  This is another incarnation of that.  Again, the simple Sicilian theme remains, classic flavour matches with quality ingredients

I need to rush of unfortunately so I missed the remainder of the lunch, but I would have happily stayed all day and continue to sample the well constructed, wide ranging menu.  

Once A Tailor is not trying to be the next coolest thing.  It is not a specialist coffee shop with a special roast you have never heard of before, nor is it trying to get by on trying to reinvent the culinary wheel.  It does what it sets out to do well.  Bring classic Sicilian dishes, tone the extreme flavours down, and deliver it in a pleasant, friendly environment.

Thanks again to Tony Verga and Eliza Howgate for their hospitality.  

Once a Tailor on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow you got your post up very quickly! It was good to meet you and your photos look great :)