Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: Dandelion and Driftwood at Hendra

Last week, when my paw and I were at home recovering, I was feeling a little lonely. Luckily one of my friends Lolly (who was actually supposed to be on study leave- tsk tsk Lorenzo) decided to come over and take me out for lunch.  Lol said she felt like going to a nice cafe as opposed to the Japanese takeaway I had in mind. Even though Lol protested that she was only taking 'the morning and maybe a little bit of the afternoon off' I knew an across town trip to Dandelion and Driftwood was in order (even if it would take a little longer than nicking somewhere more local).

Dandelion and Driftwood has been on the must visit list for a while, and I admit I'm a little late hopping onto the train. Opened in the second half of 2010 by coffee connoisseurs Peter Wolff and Penny Lowe, Dandelion and Driftwood has been touted by many of my twitter mates as being the next best thing. Located in a surburban stretch in Hendra, it's not the usual location you would find such a gorgeous little place to go, but gorgeous it is.

The weather was decidedly gloomy, but from the moment we stepped through the door, the service was cheery and prompt. We were shown to our table, and one of the staff took our wet umbrellas to the umbrella stand. Seated at the large table, we were very comfy, and the place was almost full to capacity, with only a couple of other spare seats at our communal setting.

Stepping into Dandelion and Driftwood is almost like stepping into the pages of a book, where everything is in it's place and when in it's place, looks just so right. From the lolly trolley, to the Paul Grainger jams lining the shelves and the sweet treats placed at the counter, the everything has charm. The specialty here is obviously the coffee but as caffeine and I are mortal enemies, I thought I'd leave that department up to Lolly so that she could get her caffeine study fix, whilst I sipped on some spesh herbal tea and had a bite to eat.

The coffee menu has so much on offer, but I'm going to leave that to the die-hards to blog, as I really don't know that enough about it. I might take C in with me next time, he's much more qualified to comment. Lolly did order a chai for $5 which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Something I do know a little bit about though, is tea, because I do have a slight addiction. My top drawer at work is testament to this and houses at least 5 or 6 different blends at any one time. I'm the girl that office peeps come to when they have run out of tea, or need something a little different to get them through the day.

The herbal list at Dandelion and Driftwood is very concise, in fact there are only two teas listed. The green tea list is considerably more extensive, as is the black tea list. I would have liked a larger choice, but in the end, the peppermint tea at $6 was fab. The flavour was really deep and the whole experience was heightened by the full peppermint aromas steaming out of my cup. It was probably the best peppermint tea I have ever tasted, nothing like any of the blends you would buy from the supermarket. It even kicks the specialty tea shops peppy butts. Served alongside the tea was a little laminated note, telling me all about the origins of the tea and the best serving methods. Although some might class this as a little OTT- I think it was a fabulous touch that allows customers to become more aware about the tea or coffee they are drinking in a non confrontational way. And if they just want to sit and enjoy their cup without in bliss, they don't have to read it. 

Apparently this tea was made from the highest grade peppermint leaves grown in Victoria, it is supposed to be cleansing,clearing and a digestive. You shouldn't drink with milk (I'm ALWAYS surprised about how many peeps try to put milk in herbal tea- don't worry- I scold them if I catch them in the act) and honey and sugar are allowed, although I'm an ala natural girl. To brew you should pour water at 84 degrees over 3g of leaves per pot and infuse for 3 minutes. It's really nice to see how much these peeps love their tea and after drinking a pot of their offerings, I'm convinced it's all in the little details. Not sure how I'm going to get my water to 84 degrees when I'm at work though!?!

I'm on the Reuben bandwagon at the moment, and so the ovbious choice for my lunch was Dandelion and Driftwood's take on the Reuben for $9.5. Corned silverside, pete's favourite sauerkraut, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing made up a nice sandwich. The flavours went well together and the sauerkraut was quite pleasant, but I didn't get the flavour explosion I was hoping for. A little lacking. I do love the whole being served with chips(crisps for all your poms) thing.

Lolly went with another option from the grilled sandwich menu, the smoked chicken breast, natural tasty cheddar, doodle creek beetroot relish and tomato chutney sandwich also $9.5. Although I didn't get a taste, L really liked her sandwich saying the smoked chicken was moist and the beetroot relish and tomato chuntney surprisingly worked well together, again, not absolutely awesome, but quite nice.

As I was relaxing, sipping my sensational tea, I couldn't help but scope out all the baked treats that sat before me, and thought that I would quite like to try a macadamia nut brownie. Feeling a little full, I offered to share with L and she willingly obliged. Hindsight is a wonderful thing peeps, I have to say, in hindsight I never ever should have offered to share no matter how full or however much I was trying to be a little bit healthy. Shouldn't and won't next time. The brownie (about $5ish from memory) was beautiful. Moist and and rich but somehow light at the same time. It didn't sit in my tummy for hours afterward reminding me that I shouldn't have eaten it. It made me want more - now that's a magic brownie!

Even after finishing the sweet treats, Lolly and I sat for about 20 minutes just chatting and finishing the last of out drinks. It was a lovely place to chill out, particularly with the rain pouring down outside. It's like time had slowed and we were just happy to sit and be.

Despite my sandwich being a little disappointing, I will definitely go back and visit Dandelion and Driftwood sometime. The service was impressive, the brownie was impeccable and the atmostphere and decore were intimate. Next time, I've got my eye on some of the tea cakes and maybe another variety of hot pressed sandwich to see if it can take my fancy. I'll be sure to have a full brownie and I might even grab an amber bottle filled with milk bottles, strawberries & creams and peppermint leaves for the road.

When to go: When you feel like sitting in a lovely little place and drinking some lovely coffee or tea. When it was raining was particularly nice, as it felt warm and sunny inside. Go with the girls, it's the place to sit and chat.

Dandelion and Driftwood
Shop 1, 45 Gerler Rd 
Hendra 4011
07 3868 4559

Dandelion & Driftwood on Urbanspoon

3 fabulous comments:

Barbara said...

I have heard about this place. Need to try it soon. Hope you are having fun with the D90.

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

I'm more used to having Dijon mustard appear on my Reuben's, although I could be mistaken.

The InTolerant Chef said...

It sounds lovely, I hope your next sandwich is better!

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