We’re not saying that its proximity to Prahran’s medieval weapons training group is the best thing about Hobba Coffee and Kitchen, but it’s definitely a bonus that will keep us coming back. Unless you live along Malvern Road or need your muffler buffed it’s probably not a street that’s on your radar, but with Hobba's single origins, sweet garage conversion, and chef Josh Powell at the stove, it’s about to become a landmark on your brunching horizon.
Open to the street and with a whacking great tree thrown in the middle of the lofty ex-tyre fitting garage, it almost feels like you’re eating al fresco - and who doesn’t love the feel of the morning breeze through their cereal? The atmosphere is pretty laid back, which is exactly what owner Gerrick Numan, and Powell were aiming for with their amusing pledge to under-promise, and over-deliver. They wanted the sort of place where they themselves would go to relax – which of course meant having the kind of food that they would want to eat.
The breakfast menu isn`t exactly revolutionary, but then it`s not intend to be. It seems instead like they’ve been adults about it, rounded up all the breakfast favourites, and just bloody well got on with making them properly. With this in mind, read the menu with the confidence that whilst there is very little on there that you haven’t seen before (bircher or roasted muesli; smoked salmon, cream cheese, caper sandwich; smashed avocado and feta on toast at $9.50, $14 and $9 respectively) the quality in Powell’s execution compared to his competitors is like having the original London cast performing Les Mis versus your local amateur dramatic society. Powell has done time at Circa, the Fat Duck and Vue De Monde, so when the man poaches an egg, he does it at a take-my-sweet-time-but-get-it-right 62.5 degrees Celsius.
Lunch options are a little more fanciful, and are going to change with the seasons. Right now, the Andean grain quinoa salad with roasted beets, braised lamb neck, pistachio and harissa yoghurt dressing ($16) is a winner, as is the take-no-prisoners watilda belted Galloway beef burger ($16). It's a no-BS hunk of beef, with pickles, cheddar, iceburg and chips.`Nuff said.
They can play it cool as much as they like, but these guys obviously care a whole awful lot about what they’re doing, and we don`t think they should be so bashful about it. The food is good, the coffee is served at the correct 65 degrees, and the whole shebang is giving Prahran's medieval warriors a sweet spot to debrief after a rough lancing.