The (waffle) iron age

Author: Pat Nourse
Photography: Will Horner

Savoury waffles - probably not a trend anyone saw coming.

Cronuts and ramen burgers be damned, and damn all their fake-fad ilk. Real trends have a way of sneaking up on you. You might find yourself sitting at Cumulus Up, the newish wine bar atop Melbourne's Cumulus Inc, chowing down on a plate of duck waffles with foie gras and prune with a glass of gamay.

Then you're at the bar at Sidecar in Tasmania swirling a glass of d'Meure, and what should appear on the menu but waffles made with duck eggwhites (sister establishment Garagistes was going through a lot of yolks) and served with gouda aged in caramel and smoked fermented cabbage hearts. And then you're having lunch at Café Paci, and shazam - chef Pasi Petänen lists a dish very much in keeping with his Viking roots (if those Vikings had waffle irons): waffles made with blood, rye and beer served with whipped lard and lingonberry jam. And lo, a strange and delicious trend is born. But Andrew McConnell of Cumulus has a word of caution for any professionals thinking of joining the waffle bandwagon: "Do you know what it costs to buy a bloody waffle iron? We were buying those domestic ones, and we had three set up. They wouldn't last three weeks, so we thought, f*** this domestic s***, we'll go and buy a commercial one, and $2500 later we had it." He concedes that it's a pretty cool piece of kit. "It does good work. But you've gotta sell a lot of waffles to pay for the bloody thing."

Related link: more restaurant news.

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