31 May 2024

The Irvine Cafe and Bar in Florey is ready to welcome you

| Michelle Taylor
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a bar

The Irvine Cafe and Bar offers a warm welcome on a cold day. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

The Irvine Cafe and Bar glows invitingly through the fog of an early autumn morning. A cluster of macrame-trimmed chandeliers hung in the centre of the space makes it feel like you are walking into a warm hug. An enclosed playground right outside will keep the kids entertained while you enjoy brunch alfresco or sit up at the bench that overlooks the playground. There is extra seating in the laneway where a mural brightens up the wall.

The highly anticipated opening was a couple of months ago and business is booming.

Owner Daniel explains: “We have a nice brunchy atmosphere in the day, and at night we pivot to a more local pub feel.

“We want to be part of the community and give them something that they really want to treasure. We employ local people and we want to become a neighbourhood fixture.”

a latte with froth art

Pretty latte art. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Josh, the head chef at The Irvine and its sister venue, The Knox in Watson, brings over 15 years of culinary experience to the table. He is responsible for the food coming out of the kitchen and all the sourdough baked goods.

“We’ve got a sourdough-based bakery at the Knox,” Daniel says.

“Even our croissants are sourdough-based. It helps them stay moist in the centre and crisp and flaky outside. We bring all the bakery products over fresh every day.”

The menu has all the brunch classics like eggs Benedict, but some unique offerings pique my interest. The sweet potato hotcake and the Florey sambo stuffed with pork belly and bechamel sauce and sriracha have my tummy grumbling.

I decide on sweet potato hotcakes and a sourdough pastry.

sourdough pastry

My sourdough pastry. Photo: Kazuri Photography

My morning coffee tastes delicious and boasts some pretty impressive latte art of the sun and the moon.

I don’t think I have ever tried a sourdough pastry; my first is with custard. Oh, my. Gosh! There are layers of crisp jam-glazed flaky deliciousness and delicate layers of slightly sweet, slightly sour pastry within. The custard set into the top is smooth and not overly sweet. It does not dominate; instead, its velvety texture seems to enhance the tender layers of pastry.


The sweet potato hotcakes are topped with an egg, bacon, and avocado slices. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

The sweet potato hotcakes arrive and surprise me. I imagined that they were a sweet pumpkin-spice type of breakfast hotcake.

It lands on my table, plump and savoury, fluffy yet dense. The hotcake’s texture would have me happily eating it totally unadorned, but it also comes with an egg, bacon and slices of avocado. A drizzle of salsa verde brings a tang and a hit of coriander; the salty pops of fried kale and the tart plops of feta all work toward creating a delightful harmony on my tastebuds.

Don’t have time for a full sit-down meal? Don’t worry – they’ve got you covered there, too.

Irvine even offers the option to preorder a coffee for pickup. Then, you can drive up, walk in, grab the coffee and walk out.

“So quick and easy,” Daniel says.

The Irvine opens at 7 am for breakfast and remains open for dinner and drinks several days a week. Daniel says that on the lunch/dinner menu, the braised lamb pasta and miso pumpkin salad are fun and very popular.

The Irvine is located at 26 Kesteven St in Florey. It is open from 7 am to 8 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 7 am to 9 pm Friday. On Saturday, the doors open from 7:30 am to 9 pm; on Sunday, 7:30 am to 3 pm; and on Monday, 7 am to 4 pm.

Follow The Irvine on Facebook and Instagram.

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