July 4, 2014

Crate Louise

144-148 Glenayr Road, Bondi NSW
(02) 9130 4668

It was a sunny winter morning on Bondi Beach, and all the cafés on Hall Street were pumping away. I wanted something a little more special than a breaky fry up, so I set off to explore a few café sites I had spied the previous day. I found a good sunny location on Glenayr Road at a new café called Crate Louise. The café/restaurant had an inviting feel, so I checked the menu and it appealed to me instantly.
I chose the smashed avocado on sourdough, soft poached eggs with feta and haloumi and was pleased with my choice when the meal was presented. It was what the body needed after two weeks on the road. The coffee from Double Roasters was also very well made and well on track to greatness for such a new café project.
After some investigations, I met co-owner Benjamin Grant, who has had this concept in the winds for a few years. Ben is an event manager who has been living abroad for years. He met his wife, Judy Hu, in China through work connections. Judy was a career hospitality manager, and she had the kitchen and hospitality skills to bring this project to a reality.
The duo created Crate Louise, a combination of café, restaurant and wine bar, and the fit out in this small space is very elegant, oozing warmth and coziness.
Ben has an amazing passion for wine and runs the front of house, honing his sommelier skills. The wine list not only highlights some of Australia’s unique wine makers, but also takes you on an interesting overseas wine journey.
They have secured young bearded chef Thomas Fletcher from Canberra, who has cooked his way around the top end of the Canberra food scene, including time at the famous restaurant Courgette. Thomas and Judy have combined their culinary skills and different cultures to pull off some great combinations. Thomas spent a lot of his cooking experience in Italian restaurants, and Judy is a well seasoned Asian chef. The result is pure pleasure for the customer, with this cross match of east meets west.
What I really liked about Crate Louise is the smart use of use of three service times, breakfast lunch and dinner, matching three different businesses in one. A clever structure if you can keep up the energy levels.
Good luck with the project, guys; I am sure you will be rewarded for your efforts. Don’t forget to try the Daikon Rosti … my favourite.


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