Tucked away behind tinted windows is a seductive new cafe made of something a little more than just your average building materials. What makes House of Lulu White just that little bit special is the unique history behind both the name and the cafe’s location.
The site at 4 Yarra Street now takes inspiration from the brothel that once stood in its place: Paradise Girls, and why the venue is named after their infamous procuress. It’s the latest venue operated by well-known hospitality company Tommy Collins Group, the same guys behind The Little Ox Cafe, Hawk & Hunter and The Hamptons Bakery & Cafe among others.
Designed by TOFU, this Palm Springs-esque interior uses its advantageous amount of natural light to establish a warm and inviting space along with its bright pink colour palette. With light oak timber flooring and bursts of lush greenery giving the space that tropical paradise feel, the sleek black accents of bar stools and shelving accentuate the cheeky and slightly naughty spirit it carries.
And of course, the look wouldn’t be complete without an illuminated sign of Lulu’s plump lips on the wall overlooking her customers.
With an all-day breakfast menu split into ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’, it features your staple breakfast dishes such as your usual smashed avo ($17) and Acai bowl ($16) alongside unique options such as Smokey bacon breakfast ramen ($18). Opting for a healthy and nutritional option, I went with a classic bowl of Porridge ($12.5) made from steel cut oats, keeping its natural nutty taste and also retaining texture that makes the dish pleasurable to eat. Topped with apple and sliced rhubarb – a timeless combination – gives the dish an exciting depth of flavour with its tartness to complement the porridge’s sweetness. And if you’re feeling a little bit cheeky, you can get yourself a boozy porridge with an added shot of whiskey for an extra $3.
Going down the slightly more playful route, my guest ordered the Buttermilk fried chicken and waffles ($19.5), a southern American classic with an Asian twist as it arrives topped with coriander, shaved carrot and maple nahm prik. The issue with this is that there’s a lot of bold flavours fighting for dominance on the plate. Had the sauce been your standard sweet maple without the chilli based ingredients, it would have tied the dish together a bit more. There’s no denying quality of the individual ingredients, however. The waffle, fluffy and light, went well with the perfectly cooked, tender crispy chicken.
As for lunch, take your pick from an enticing looking Crispy chicken burger ($18) with double bacon, house made kimchi & aioli with sweet potato fries, or a seafood option with their Tataki ocean trout bowl ($19.5) complete with soba noodle, edamame, wakame, yuzu & sesame dressing.
Want to pair that with something a little stronger than a coffee? Every weekend, customers can indulge in a $30 bottomless brunch featuring two glorious hours of all-you-can-drink cocktails.
House of Lulu White
Address: 4 Yarra St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Contact: (03) 8679 6755
Hours: Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm; Saturday – Sunday 8am – 4pm