I realised only recently that I hadn’t officially written a review for Cornerstone & Co. in Hampton East, and to be honest I’m pretty damn disappointed in myself. I’ve been coming here for close to 3 years now and it’s by far my favourite cafe in all of Melbourne.
You heard me.
My favourite cafe.
So why haven’t I written a review on them yet? I think it boils down to the fact that I feel so comfy at Cornerstone & Co. that at some point my brain stopped filing it away under ‘Cafes’ and instead had it under ‘Home #2’, and therefore didn’t even think to review it. So here goes…
Cornerstone & Co. in Hampton East is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of busy Hampton Street, and unless you knew it was there you’d never find it. Down a charming but suburban street, Cornerstone (as the locals call it) is a pet and human-friendly Italian-Japanese fusion cafe that serves up the genius that is head chef Shoichi Ueda’s creations.
The space itself is bright, warm and welcoming with a flowing layout conducive to enjoying good food in good company. The raw and recycled materials used for the furnishing, fit-outs and decoration are not pretentious or ‘hipster-ish’ at all, instead just adding to the family home feel.
As for the food, the menu is seasonal but you can just about count on it always offering Shoichi’s take on eggs benedict and okonomiyaki, both of which are the meals we come back to time and time again. At the moment the menu touts a pulled pork benedict with a karashi hollandaise, and then the okonomiyaki is paired with a poached egg and okonomi sauce.
Their ‘Health Club’ items are always amazingly delicious too, and I highly recommend you try the granola pannacotta while it’s still on the menu. Cornerstone seems to be on the forefront of coffee trends too, as they were serving up turmeric lattes before they were even a thing.
Hot Tip – Try their turmeric chai latte. It’s not on the menu but they can whip you up one and it’s mind-blowing.
One last thing I must mention is that you can’t help but notice how genuinely lovely the staff are. Operating in an industry that is renowned for high staff turnover rates and stressful environments, Cornerstone has worked out the magic formula to finding dedicated, passionate and long-term employees who really seem to love their jobs. I can’t think of another cafe I’ve been to that has this positive culture, so hats off to you Cornerstone!