Benowa’s hardly a likely spot for a little posh nosh, but there it is, The Base, smack bang on the outside of a suburban shopping centre!
You could be anywhere, really, in a Melbourne laneway, or in Surry Hills, and that’s exactly what owner Steven Jones wants – to bring a laid back but efficient eatery/espresso bar into the burbs.
It’s a trendy fitout of wood, steel, copper and brick – all elemental, fired along by its La Marzocco espresso machine fronting the street and the wood-fired pizza oven at the back. In between there’s lots of casual seating, too small for armchairs, more ‘huddle and share’ stools but inviting because of the cosy warm tones.
The café caters for a mixed clientele: traditional breakfasts, healthy starts such as the Superstart (poached eggs, kale and roasted pine nuts), a lunch menu of burgers, salads and pasta. At lunchtime and on Friday nights, the pizza menu rolls out. There’s also a ‘to go’ cabinet, a specials board and menu changes every month or so. Steven tells me that the café’s increasing the wholefood menu and gluten-free options, so keep asking!
We pass the freshly-baked muffins beckoning from the front counter, to order from the menu. Our breakfast’s healthy and delicious. I choose a generous bowl of Açai blended with banana and fresh apple juice, all fruit in a bowl, topped with the crunch of toasted muesli; the Main Squeeze orders a Brekky Burger filled with eggs, bacon, caramelised onion and homemade chutney. There’s a fresh Berry Nice smoothie to go with that, and a Story ‘Madman Blend’ coffee, Barefoot and Borough Barista’s own blend – strong, smooth, and guaranteed to get me through the rest of the day with ease.
We’ve also been to the Base for Friday nibbles and drinks, sharing pizzas and the Antipasto platter. There’s a range of well-priced tapas to share, from sliders to calamari, Pork belly to Tempura… Base makes a modern thin-crusted pizza, not overladen with topping, but packed with punch, the flavours sealed in by the wood oven – very yummy! With a well-chosen, reasonably priced wine list, a good range of beers, including the local Burleigh Brewing’s Hef, or ciders, there’s plenty of drink choices to accompany your meal.
The Base Eatery Espresso is a funky, inviting space with a cool relaxed vibe. The well-balanced menu has wide appeal, yet caters well for the health-conscious. Whether you want coffee and cake, breakfast, lunch, drinks, takeaway pizza or tapas, the Base is a welcome addition to a suburb in need of such a great little eatery.
Shop 38, Benowa Gardens Shopping Centre, Cnr Ashmore & Benowa Rds., Benowa Ph: 07 5564 5023