The Owl & The Baker
347 Centre Rd, Bentleigh VIC 3204
Ph: (03) 9557 9517
The Owl & The Baker (O & B) opened near Bentleigh train station in December 2015 with plans to trade as both a café and food store. Owner Andrea Brook foresees the increase in apartment living within the neighbourhood will mean greater demand for her prepared/ready to eat meal items which will augment the dine-in menu.
Brook has been behind a string of successful cafes and food businesses over the years including Store 6 at South Melbourne Market, Hot Honey café in Middle Park, Elwood’s Wild Organic café and most recently GB Espresso in St Kilda.
Chef Chris Henry has been worked in a number of Brook’s previous businesses and brings a wealth of experience to The Owl & The Baker.
Breakfast might entail ‘black quinoa porridge with poached peaches, flossy floss, pomegranate molasses & candied lemon zest’ or perhaps the ‘preserved lemon and spiced avocado salsa, O & B Turkish bread, lemon labna, salt and pepper mushrooms, and hand cut leg ham’ (pictured below). Whilst the menu riffs on Middle Eastern Flavours, there’s still plenty of familiar brunch fare on the menu, including eggs any which way. There’s a Synesso machine on the front counter pumping out 5 Senses coffee.
The 30 year old bread oven within the former bakery gets put to good use. Along with producing the Turkish bread that features throughout the menu, the quadruple decker oven is responsible for all the sweet & savoury pastries, cakes and slices made in-house and even a slow roasted lamb shoulder.
The take home options vary day to day but when I visited the display counter included a salad of lentils, labna & roast tomato, a lamb & yoghurt tagine, chicken pilaf pie and a salad of harissa potatoes with egg & spring onion. A separate fridge also holds dips, cheeses and smallgoods with the range set to expand in the New Year.