Adam Wilkinson – one of the creators behind Prahran’s St Edmond’s – has launched Denis the Menace in Cremorne with a responsibility to sustainability, together with light-hearted fun and ever-important Melbourne good coffee and cuisine. We were invited to check it out!
The World Loves Melbourne looks for points of difference in a sea of cafes. Denis the Menace provides that uniqueness. Tucked away in a converted up-cycled warehouse on Chestnut Street, Cremorne, the venue has been made entirely of reconstructed materials collected over time by Wilkinson. It has that grungy but attractive look – well thought out with a dash of Melbourne quirk.
Denis the Menace is a large and inviting space; a secret unexpected world not evident from the modest street frontage. Sitting on some reconstructed apple crates among an internal forest made up of cumquat trees, diners will be able to see Denis’ Barista Damon Glover donning a Wootten apron made from hemp and organic cotton and brewing Seven Seeds coffee for the masses. Diners can also treat themselves to an endless supply of sparkling filtered mineral water, for after the coffee hit.
The licensed 100pax café has been designed by eco-architect, Simon Cookes from Duckbuild, who has created an environmentally friendly space with solar panels, recycled timber cladding and all the playful trimmings of one’s youth. Staying to true his environmental message, Wilkinson sourced hundreds of old Carlton Draught bottles for water glasses and will serve crockery from Kilman in Bendigo and vintage ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ sugar bowls on all tables. While in the verdant courtyard, worm farm complete with 1200 worms are busy doing their bit for Mother Nature.
While the fit out excites, so does the food. The menu lends itself to healthy style eating. While we are down with this we chose the Classic Stuff Eggs Benedict with organic ham, tomato and Gruyere cheese. This is a harmony with the gruyere a stand out with classic combination of first class organic ham and perfectly cooked eggs. A keeper. We further induled with a bowl of chips as a side (they made this for us during breakfast).
Chef Simon Neale can be viewed in the open kitchen preparing his cleverly crafted menu, overseen by Charlie Goldsmith. The menu, which embodies the playful sprit of Denis the Menace, opens with quick and easy options such as fancy toast, running late roti, or a super start. Secondly, options include an ‘Avo, we’ve met before’, a ‘Watashi Wa Dennis’, or a ‘Big green food fight’.
Here is the ‘Avo, we’ve met before’ with added sausages (delightful) and two perfectly cooked eggs with killer smashed avo and heirloom tomatoes, marinated feta, breakfast radishes, and fresh mint and basil pulled from the neighbour’s garden. What a rewarding breakfast dish! A playful menu but it also has substance!
Not forgetting about meals for those with mini humans, you’ll also find simple pleasures like the ham and cheese toastie.
Denis the Menace offers lunch fillers such as ‘A bowl full of yum’, a ‘Kind of like mums roast’ or a ‘Mr Wilson’ sandwich, which attract hordes of Cremorne corporates.
Denis the Menace is a cafe we want to return to; a great haven to relax and enjoy the company of friends, with a menu that provides winning options for all.
Denis the Menace ticks all the boxes and provides several talking points of difference. Highly recommended.
DENIS THE MENACE
106-108 Chestnut Street, Richmond