Café Els, Winston Hills
It wasn’t until it dawned on me what was going on that I realised there was a group of people staring straight at me with a mixture of eye-roll and irritation.
It was a cold but sunny Saturday morning and I had half an hour to spare before my son’s soccer game kicked off at nearby Max Ruddock Reserve, so a warming cuppa and a bite of breaky seemed timely. But, it was as I strode up to the door of Café Els, about to open it and enter that something made me pause and turn to face the sneering throng.
Sneering because they had been standing in line patiently (or otherwise) awaiting their turn to be admitted into the café and weren’t entirely thrilled to catch a wanton cue-jumper.
Every now and then it gets kind of packed (Image: @cafeels.au)
This is entirely what is right and wrong with Café Els. Right because they do café-ing like the best in the biz; and wrong because they’re the only one of their kind within cooee of that location that has so much going for it.
Café Els lives within a shopping mall, but has a separate entrance and outlook, so there's no closed in, florescent feel about the place.
The menu is hearty, healthy and innovative and the specials change regularly. Some of my favourite Café Els breakfast choices are the Eggs Benedict, Corn Fritters, the Breaky Burger and the Three Little Pigs. My husband’s perennial favourite is Els Big Breaky (obvs). But, the last time I was there, I went a special by the name of Asparagus E Prosciutto …
And not a crumb was left by the time I was done with it. No need to wash that plate, guys. Straight back in the cupboard.
Café Els’ lunch menu is also a culinary adventure. You’ve got your bruschetta, you’ve got your fries, you’ve got your Hot Pot Prawns. More burgers, wraps, salads and sangas - with both traditional and unusual ingredients - than you know what to do with. Then you have your big-ticket items like barramundi, lamb skewers, falafel and a range of middle eastern inspired dishes. The last time I was there for lunch I had the BBQ Pork Burger, which was a treat because while it was filling, I didn’t leave feeling stuffed to the gills.
It’s a great spot for breakfast meetings and mothers group lunches. Oh and one more piece of advice – keep it in mind during the school holidays when you’re out with your kids and about ready to tear your hair out, because this place will administer you with a much-needed caffeine shot and a selection of food and drink designed to keep kids happy and quiet.
Amen to that!
Café Els – Shop 64, Winston Hills Mall, 180 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Winston Hills
02 9624 7595