You could be forgiven for thinking that hobba is actually somewhere you might take your car to be serviced. It has that small industrial feel that’s usually reserved for Collingwood and beyond and, well, it’s a converted warehouse cum garage. But the untreated wood fairies have worked their magic on the inside, and there’s a kitchen and tables and all kinds of things that really make it a convincing – and lovely – eatery.
I visited hobba on a very warm morning and was in desperate need of something refreshing and some roll-on deodorant. Fortunately, the interior boasts high ceilings and huge roller doors that allow the breeze from the bay to hurtle up Malvern Road and dash inside. Low-key furnishings are a nice touch (I’ve mentioned my love of exposed wood teehee once or twice before) and for a cafe that sits on a very high-traffic road this feels surprisingly relaxed.
The waitress was very nice and suggested that the gazpatcho would cool me down and make me less of a moody bitch. She didn’t even ask me to put my camera and laptop away and stop being a creep who couldn’t speak properly because her brain was full of pollen. I was happy to take her suggestion.
The watermelon gazpatcho is really refreshing and delicious.
Would you like anything to drink? We have some really nice juices.
This is a watermelon gazpatcho with grilled watermelon, vanilla yoghurt and fresh strawberries. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s the Miranda Kerr of breakfasts. Those are actual violets, sitting on top like a tiara.
It’s something I had been playing with for a while, wanted to give people fruit salad with out being boring
- Josh Powell, chef/partner @ hobba
The thing is, and I did form this suspicion a few weeks ago when I ordered watermelon juice at las chicas, I don’t think I like watermelon juice. I love watermelon, and will push my face so far into one of those watery suckers that I suffocate and die, but the juice on its own is not to my taste. It’s like a dear old grandmother at the supermarket who says, “You don’t mind if I go before you, do you?” and you can’t say no because she’s so lovely, and then it turns out that she has sixty-one items in her trolley. Watermelon juice is beyond sweet, but it also has the most surprising bitterness to it. I love sweet and bitter separately, but I have now resigned myself to the fact that I should probably stop thinking that watermelon juice is something that it isn’t.
I have no doubt that this is an issue of personal taste, and that Gaz would have lapped up every last drop. The grilled watermelon was fantastic, the strawberries were perfectly ripe and sweet and the yoghurt was an excellent contrast.
And seriously, the presentation was amongst the most stunning I’ve seen.
The other food being served was similarly gorgeous to look at, and I’m definitely going to head back to hobba to try it out. I’m sure that the experience I had isn’t a fair reflection of the quality of what’s being served up there, and I should try not to go to places and order things I know I don’t like and then say I don’t like them.
To that end, I also picked up a triple chocolate muffin to take home and revel in. It was moist and delicious and I wanted several more immediately.
At $12, this was the cheapest breakfast on my journey thus far. Of course, it was mostly water, but the on the whole the menu looked well priced, especially for Prahran.