Crooked Letters Cafe – The Overview…
Food: salmon bagel, halloumi bagel, blueberry and orange zest schmear bagel
Crooked Letters is one of those places that’s found a niche and are quite happy to set up permanent residence there. And I don’t blame them! Too often these pocket sized venues are offering giant sized menus and the results end up being a little lack-lustre. At Crooked Letters you’ll find a few pastries in the counter but the real focus here is their fab range of bagels. The cafe itself has a real neighbourhood vibe; It’s lively and popular, and they clearly know the locals well with people going past saying hi and a wall full of loyalty cards pinned up behind the counter. For somewhere that only popped up a few months ago, they’ve really made themselves at home.
There’s 4 main choices of how to bagel: go for one of their creations which include a tasty halloumi, a breakkie bagel and a vegan option; go for a schmear (a cream cheese and jam mixed topping); opt for a spread (a traditional topping eg. Nutella, jam etc); or start with one of these and add things to build your own. The result – there’s probably about 50 bagel combos you could build!
We decided to try a salmon, a halloumi and a blueberry and orange zest schmear (that’s 3 different bagels, we didn’t go crazy all on one). I was really impressed that all 3 actually came on different Bagels: a plain, a sesame and a poppy seed. The super squeaky halloumi was generously sandwiched between chilli jam and some bitter salad leaves. The bagels are really soft and they’re filled with just enough different ingredients. I loved the nice spice hit from the chilli jam, which really woke me up, whilst still leaving my taste buds intact.
The salmon and cream cheese was a nod to a fairly traditional bagel filling, but with added capers and onions it had a little bit more going on. They brought a little more variety to the flavour, and whilst it’s still dominated by the creamy cheese, there were alternating pops of tangy acidity and saltiness from the extra additions.
We shared the blueberry and orange zest schmear: a blueberry and orange conserve mixed with cream cheese. Lee was a little trepidacious about the mix (of course) but we both ended up absolutely loving it! It’s kind of an Aussie take on a PB and J with its sweet/savoury combo. The conserve just had that little touch of sweetness so it didn’t taste like a dessert but left that sugary aftertaste, making you feel as though you’d really treated yourself. For something that’s almost a footnote on their menu, it was every bit as delicious as the larger main menu items, while being a little bit of a lighter, simpler option!
Address: 3B Murray Street, Prahran
Parking: It’s in a fairly residential area of Prahran so parking nearby isn’t too much of an issue compared to other parts of Prahran.
Getting here on PT: It’s about a 10 minute walk from Prahran Station, or maybe 8 or 9 minutes from Chapel Street (78 tram), and probably similar (or less) from High Street and Malvern Road trams too.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Crooked Letters, Prahran. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.