It’s safe to say I am a massive fan of Hawthorn- and it’s obviously because of my love for the Hawthorn Football Club. On the odd occasion, I’m told about a café in Hawthorn, and I do take the time to visit and see if it lives up to its location’s name.
Shanklin has been a café on my radar for quite some time, so when I managed to get to this Tooronga Road spot, I felt they’ve had ample opportunity to fine tune their operations for a ‘Tess test’.
Let’s get one thing straight from the outset- I had no idea what I was walking into. No idea what-so-ever. These guys were just as surprised to see me, as I was to see their venue running like clockwork, despite being inundated with customers and orders.
The first thing I noticed was the energy within the venue. Staff appeared happy to be there, and couldn’t have made me feel more welcomed if they had tried.
The barista smiled as I asked if there was a filter coffee offering on the menu, and promptly spoke those magical words that are music to my ears- “We have a natural Ethiopian Batch brew”.
By the time I’d taken my seat in the front dining section, I was already on a first name basis with staff members, and I couldn’t have felt more welcomed.
There are so many people trying to reinvent the wheel in Melbourne’s coffee scene at the moment, but I do believe venues like Shanklin epitomise exactly what a café is all about. The service is personalised, people are made to feel welcome – and there are no pretentious personalities to unsettle those who don’t tend to fit into the coffee culture. While I may be a coffee enthusiasts, I can appreciate not everyone is, and cafes need to accommodate everyone.
Finally, I couldn’t look past the Nutella Stuffed Hotcakes- not because it’s the craziest breakfast item I’ve seen to date, but the guys here donate $1 from every order to the ONEPLATE sustainable food project. If ever there was a good excuse to indulge in, this was it.
Thank you to Francis and the Shanklin team for being ever so charming. The coffee by Reverence stood up to its name, and your venue is testament to the passion you all have for this city’s café culture.
Find Shanklin at 500 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn.