The Little Elephant is one of those true, local businesses that I love to visit – just hardworking people, producing some great food. Tucked away just off Highett Road, Little Elephant is a fresh, bright and welcoming brunch venue. I loved how it was on a quiet street, giving for a much more relaxing brunch experience than the endless train noises (seriously, how do people live next to those boom gates) and the general hustle and bustle of Highett Village.
Inside, the space is well used, with smaller tables for couples, larger communal tables and a coffee bench. Helped out by being on a corner, with its floor to ceiling glass windows, and the gorgeous yellow and grey colour scheme it feels modern, clean and far more spacious than it probably should! While it was still a little cold when we visited, there’s also a decent sized mostly-covered pavement seating area, perfect to bring your pet, or just enjoy the sunshine now the warmer weather approaches.
Service is friendly, and speedy – I was amazed how quickly our food came given the quality and the standard of the presentation. Still on my coffee detox (oh joy), I opted for an orange, apple and strawberry juice. It looked amazing, with gorgeous layering, and tasted so fresh – I’ve also been told by a very reliable source that their smoothies are just as good too! I actually felt 100 times better from starting my day off with a juice instead of a coffee (although, The Little Elephant do coffee too, if you are in need of a caffeine fix).
Another great thing about The Little Elephant is that they are regularly changing their menu. I decided to try one of their new additions, The Dragon Balls – because who wouldn’t want to order something with “Dragon” in the title. I loved the uniqueness of this dish, it really was unlike anything I’d ever had before – and given the amount of brunch I eat, that’s impressive. Sweet vanilla rice balls coated in a pistachio crumb, they are difficult to describe. The closest comparison I can think of is rice pudding rolled into balls. They actually had a lot of flavour, the vanilla and pistachio really came through and I liked how they were sweet, but not overly so. The chocolate soil was perfect to add a little extra sweetness to the dish, and the fresh raspberries and mango puree were enough to make the dish refreshing. It wasn’t one of those sweet brunches that leaves you needing a nap, and while I initially thought it may be a little small – those rice balls are so filling, you’ll struggle to finish it.
Mr Boring went for the potato rosti after I banned him from ordering from the “build your own” section! The homemade crispy potato rosti were perfect, and well balanced with the honey pulled pork, eggs and avocado. Again, there was a lot of care taken with the elements of the dish, and it was another generous portion that M.B. had difficulties finishing. Eggs were perfectly poached, and the presentation of this dish just blew me away! A few people have asked if it was “breakfast tapas” (which by the way I think is a great idea), and I felt compelled to try and explain that this is one dish – that much care and that many elements make up one item on their menu.
The quality of brunch in Melbourne is so high, and you get used to seeing the bigger, well-known cafes in the CBD or inner suburbs producing these fancy dishes that you almost take it for granted. It just amazed me that a suburban cafe, that most people would not know is there, is producing these unique, beautifully crafted and top quality dishes. Thanks so much for having us The Little Elephant, I’m so grateful I only live one suburb away!