Snapshot: Tana Cafe, Hawthorn, Melbourne

Snapshot: Tana Cafe, Hawthorn, Melbourne
Sachi and Aaron, Tana Cafe, Hawthorn, Melbourne
Open just ten weeks, Tana Café is as humble and beautiful as co-proprietors Sachi and Yoshi Tanaka. A welcoming, warm little nook on Church Street, Hawthorn, the new business was born out of a love for the fusion of Japanese and Western food. It's a happy cohesion reflective of the couple's own union. Both natives of Osaka, Japan, it was in Australia that the couple met, though they arrived four years apart.

"It is a very big, busy city," says Sachi of Osaka. "Maybe if we stayed in Japan, we never would have met?" The couple married in 2005, with Yoshi working at the popular Yu-U Japanese restaurant on Flinder's Lane before they decided to open their own cafe. "I really wanted to support him and his dream to have his own shop," says Sachi. "He's worked very hard."

Earthy, wholesome, nourishing, yum, the menu is simple and reasonably priced, with all-day breakfast and lunch options, including orange and raisin toast with cream cheese and organic honey ($6), a light bircher muesli topped with grated apple and honey ($8), a vege burger with avocado mayo and orange relish ($10.50), and Japanese style potato salad ($10).

The tamago sand ($5), a delicate sandwich of boiled egg, pickles, parsley and mayo, is the perfect mid-morning snack, and Sachi wraps one for me in a brown paper bag, delicately folding in a napkin, to take away. Sachi's gentle touch is obvious in the shop's decor, with its artistic flourishes: children's books on a shelf, hand lotion and lavender stalks in milk bottle vases.

There are $4 muffins on the counter for morning commuters passing through to fill their coffee orders (a smooth, lovely blend), while a large communal table seating up to six is perfect for groups who want to stay a while, listen to the soft jazz music and take in the aesthetic. A bench with chairs by the window accommodates two, and there's another two-seater against a wall on the morning I visit accommodating a father and his daughter.

Sachi and Yoshi Tanaka
A little slice of heaven for solace seekers, this "small cafe run by happy people" is in the business of sharing the love through organic fare and friendly faces.

Tana Cafe is located at 36 Church Street, Hawthorn, and open Wednesday to Monday 8am-4pm. You can visit the Facebook page, too.

Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

Great coffee and friendly service.