Holla is one of the many cafes on the seemingly endless Victoria Street, but with its stripy monochrome umbrellas and bold “coffee roasters” sign, it seems determined to stand out and let you know why they’re there. From their scary smoothie glasses to their boozy shakes these guys are definitely trying to keep brunch interesting.
Inside it’s very narrow. As you’re walking through it seems small and crowded, but we were seated in a booth and the layout helps you feel secluded as, while the thoroughfare is a little squashed, the tables are actually quite spaced out. It’s very reminiscent of Higher Ground with lofty ceilings and greenery and it mashes together the industrial and the greenery well. Service was highly attentive, friendly and altogether hard to fault. Despite it being a busy day staff were on the ball, taking the time to answer our questions and checking up on us regularly.
Menu consists mainly of your standard brunch dishes; there’s eggs, a benny, a panna, a breakfast board etc. and there is a good choice of both vegetarian and gluten free dishes. We ordered the roasted wild mushrooms, breakfast board, pork benny and vegan panna cotta. On the whole the food was very good. The mushrooms, even though I only tried a mouthful, had to be the highlight for me. Well cooked, well seasoned with a beautiful truffle ricotta. My panna cotta tasted beautiful, and was a lot sweeter and creamier than I expected – in a good way. The presentation was fab and the granola had a real crunch with plenty of nuts. Unfortunately the consistency was a little off – it almost seemed melted and fell apart very quickly. It didn’t ruin the dish but definitely let down what could be a really great panna.
The benny burger was really tasty, with soft pulled pork and a good hollandaise. The serving of pork was generous, and the beerios added a some texture but my foodie friend said they didn’t really taste like beer. The breakfast board looked amazing and had a good variety of items with bircher, fritter, OJ and smashed peas. All of the items were cooked well but were over seasoned. Probably far less of an issue if you order the items individually but on the breakfast board it just felt like overkill with the herb jars! If Holla can scale that back a little, this could be another sound dish.
The drinks at Holla are such a highlight and I do regret ordering my usual coffee, but I had a big day ahead. The smoothies are so vivid and come in these cool, if slightly scary tiki glasses. The boozy shakes are heavenly and would be my pick (basically, just let @melbtomouth order your entire meal and you’re good, as she definitely had this Holla menu sussed). Overall it’s a good little spot, and with a few tiny tweaks could be really amazing. Thanks for inviting us Holla!