With the social media boom over the last few years, restaurants and cafes are having to adjust their attitudes towards social media and the new generation of bloggers or ‘grammers’ as those with an Instagram blog (my hand is up, I am one!) are sometimes called.
I know some people in the industry see us negatively, but some chefs around Melbourne are embracing the trend and it is working positively in their favour.
There are plenty of reasons why I would venture across the city to try a cafe for brunch. Maybe they are offering a unique breakfast menu that really excites me, or maybe I have lusted over my fellow bloggers photos and know I just have to try these pictured dishes for myself. Tall Timber lured me over that way for those two reasons yes, but I have to say the main reason I made the trek to visit this rustic styled, homely Prahran cafe was because of their chef and his very exciting Instagram page.
Ryan Lording, head chef at Tall Timber, is one of those in the food industry who has embraced social media and I love following his feed. He enthusiastically reposts pictures that people have posted of his dishes, is so passionately proud of his ‘sexy’ food and seemed to me like someone who really, really loves what he does. So even though Tall Timber’s menu is very sexy, and I had seen this delicious little eatery on fellow bloggers pages, it was Ryan Lording’s love of his food that drew me in.
I met the lovely Cassandra from Table to Paper for breakfast outside Tall Timber on an overcast Saturday morning. It was a little chilly, but thankfully no rain, as our options were either waiting an hour for a table in the comfortable heated cafe or braving the cold for an immediate table in the courtyard. Our hungry tummies needed food and our brains needed coffee, so we hardened up and sat in the courtyard with plenty of other brave Melbournians for breakfast. I loved their little courtyard, equipped with one large square wooden table with small groups of diners seated around it, and a cute little decorative garden in the middle of it.
This was a hard menu to choose from. Everything sounded so good, and because I had seen all of the dishes previously on Ryan’s page, I knew that every dish was beautiful. I drooled over the roast pumpkin bruschetta, hovered over the smashed avo on quinoa loaf but had to go for the beetroot cured ocean trout with smashed peas, poached eggs, tahini and croutons. The meals here truly are art on a plate- there is a reason why everyone is taking photos of their food, not just the bloggers!
The other key difference with the food at Tall Timber is how healthy and nourishing it is. The paleo-inspired breakfasts are light and full of fresh produce and vegetables, the lunches have a slightly Middle-Eastern feel and also focus on simple ingredients delivered well, and of course, presented beautifully on the plate. With how much I eat out, it was nice to go somewhere and walk away knowing I had eaten something that was nutritionally sound and probably healthier than something I would whip up at home for myself.
And if you are so inclined to have a cheeky treat after your light, healthy, nourishing meal, there is a very happy looking display cabinet of sweet goodies also that I didn’t try (I was on my way to Rustica Sourdough for a cronut) but was definitely tempted!
Hoping you had an equally delicious weekend!