Erskine Villa

Erskineville was formerly owned by a gentleman named "George Erskine" and was best known for serving the community. Back then, the suburb and community was called Erskine Villa.

With a focused mindset, Erskine Villa embodies the sense of community that runs through the veins of Erskineville.

We popped by Erskine Villa on a howling, pouring day. The cafe still had a healthy crowd of diners escaping the chill and braving the elements. The cafe is full of light and colour with artwork lining the walls and tables scattered throughout the spacious rooms. The ambience is laid back and comfortable and somehow despite not being a local, makes you feel like you're part of the local community. The staff are ever friendly and whomever you happen to be served by, you feel like you've known them for years. 

A rainy day made for a long lunch with a pot of tea and a coffee. 
The menu itself had a nice selection of favourites with a special Erskine Villa twist and it certainly praises seasonal produce with a rotating menu. 
And of course the ever popular Erskine Villa rendition of Poutine also graces the menu with a slightly non-Canadian twist. 

Autumn Congee - Jasmine rice porridge with slow cooked salmon, puffed wild rice and housemade granola
The autumn congee was a thicker consistency than a traditional congee. Its texture was similar to sticky rice pudding so it missed that warm heartiness that the regular porridge style congee gives. Although the rice alone was basic and a little on the bland side, it was lifted by the addition of puffed wild rice and granola that was scattered through the dish. The rice and granola added splashes of flavour and texture. There was a distinct aniseed taste that came in pops of the wild rice here and there that really brought out the dish. 
The slow cooked salmon was a real highlight for me. Both beautifully salty and delicately cooked, the salmon was the perfect star for this plate.

Heirloom Black Barley Salad - Roast pumpkin, tomato, radicchio, walnuts and buttermilk labne
Honestly, who doesn't like a huge spoonful of labne?! Almost like the halfway point between cheese and yoghurt, it is a perfect garnish for almost anything. 
The barley salad is the most autumn tasting dish amongst the lunch menu. The black barley was cooked perfectly and the combination of radicchio and pumpkin made for a substantial deep earthy flavour which was lifted again by the labne. 
Another textural delight, this dish is a lovely representation of the quality of produce used at Erskine Villa. 

Bacon & Egg Roll - Bungalow dry cured bacon, fried egg, sriracha chilli mayo 
A bacon and egg roll can bring a smile to anyone’s face when it is done right. Although the Erskine Villa rendition used what I think was a milk bun which was quite sweet (not a fan), it wasn't overwhelming in the dish. 
Certainly not as pretty as the previous two dishes, this simple burger was still full of flavour. The egg was perfectly runny with a very generous serving of bacon (big tick) which was amazingly crispy and smokey at the same time. 
However, the thing that sets this roll apart from every regular cafe was the sriracha chilli mayo. The mayo brings life to the bacon with a spicy hit that isn't overpowering. 
This dish is perfect for rainy days when you're looking for something hearty and warm.

Poutine - Shoestring Fries, curry sauce, cheese and a 63 degree egg
Of course, we just had to get an order of Poutine to share amongst the table. The ever-popular dish from Erskine Villa's previous pop up history has a permanent place as a signature on their current menu.

On this particular visit we were dining with a vegetarian and asked for the poutine without the House Mordilla but we've had it on previous occasions (see below).

Either way the Poutine is an enjoyable and delicious dish especially comforting on a rainy day.

Although it is a different take from my regular gravy and cheese curd rendition of poutine, the combintion of a curry sauce with the rich egg and cheese was a delight. Big thumbs up to the chef for cooking the chips consistently extra crispy and being generous on the seasoning. 

Erskine Villa embodies a really fun sense of atmosphere that is present throughout the menu, decor and the ever-friendly staff and is a fantastic representation of the community of Erskineville. 
The coffee is great and the staff are friendly so I can definitely see why people would love to have this cafe as their local.
I highly recommend it as the menu changes per season. It's always exciting to see what's coming up next as well as getting back to old favourites

Erskine Villa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Written by Jay Santiago