Denis The Menace
Denis The Menace is one of those places you discover after realising a table at Top Paddock is going to be close to an hour wait (#melbourneproblems), and has quickly become one of our favourite health-foodie spots! Tucked away a few streets behind Church St in Cremorne, Denis is a large light-filled space, with high ceilings and twinkling down lights. The theme of this warehouse conversion is part quirky-art, part industrial. The front of café has been painted in a pattern/colour scheme that is reminiscent of an 80’s video game. Indoor's houses trendy timber furnishings, planter boxes brimming with herbs and an open kitchen right in the centre of it all.
Despite being named after a childhood pest; Denis’s menu is anything but. This place goes above and beyond to offer diners a menu jam-packed with healthy, wholesome options. The handy nutritional key clearly marks out which meals are vegetarian (V), gluten free (GF), vegan (VG), dairy free (DF), egg free (EF), nut free (NF), meat free (MF), no added sugar (SF) and soy free (SOYF). Phew. This enormous attention to dietary detail is a welcome change from most other cafes who barely bother to offer gluten free bread or dairy-free milk options.
From the savoury section of the menu, our top pick is the ‘Big Green Food Fight’-a raw mix of shredded kale, broccoli, avocado, buckwheat kernels, pistachios, chilli, lemon house dressing & a poached free range egg (V, GF, DF, MF, SF, SOYF, just FYI). A spicy balance of dense grains and light greens, say hello to one of Melbourne's best breakfast salads. Try the token avocado dish ‘Avo, We’ve Met Before’ and enjoy an avo-mountain, garnished with feta, radishes and fresh mint & basil from the planter box right next to our table.
The sweet side of the menu is equally as plentiful with options. The ‘Sounds Like A-SAI-IE’ is a smoothie bowl full of acai, blueberry, mango, topped with fresh coconut, watermelon, strawberries, banana and passionfruit. If you're after something light and sweet, this is it! Or ‘A Super Start’- a combination of quinoa, chia seeds, goji berries and mulberries marinated in pear juice and coconut milk, with a sprinkling of paleo muesli and coconut yoghurt (GV, GF, DF, EF, MF, SOYF).
Denis also offers the usual breakfast options- fruit & muesli, eggs on toast, eggs benedict, a bagel dish- all of which have their own healthy spin. The lunch side of the menu is similarly health-conscious; carefully thought out salads and greens bowls, and even a vegetarian take on the good old Sunday roast. Pressed juices are, of course, on the menu (because #melbourne) and the Seven Seeds is delightful with their raw almond milk. We always have to order a second cup to take away!
Denis the Menace is a café that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to offer some of the most inventive, wholesome, delicious food in Melbourne. The effortlessly cool space compliments the expansive & inventive health-conscious menu.
Denis the Menace is located at 106-108 Chestnut St, Cremorne and open 7 days a week, Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and Sat-Sun 8am-3pm.