Grumpy Madam delivers scrumptious mood-boosting brunch to Newstead
A top-ten finish on the 2016 season of My Kitchen Rules was all it took to turn Gareth Cochrane from a miner with a passion for home cooking into a bona fide hospitality lifer. The edifying experience ignited the burners of Gareth’s motivation centre, spurring the budding chef to open a cafe of his own. Grumpy Madam is Gareth’s newly open nosh nook – an airy venue that’s all about refined simplicity and familiar comforts.
As far as jumpstarting a career in the culinary arts goes, a stint on My Kitchen Rules does wonders for testing one’s mettle. The experience was a baptism of fire of sorts for Gareth Cochrane, who utilised the opportunity to enact a long-desired career pivot from mining to cooking. After wrapping up on the show, Gareth decided he still had a lot to learn before he could possibly operate his own venue. Over the past couple of years Gareth has worked in kitchens across several beloved cafes including morningafter, Artie & Mai, and Macho Macho, picking up ideas and skills that could be applied to cafe of his own. While skimming rental sites for available venue spaces, Gareth came across a sunny corner space up for lease on Evelyn Street in Newstead and jumped on the chance to make it his own. The resulting venue – Grumpy Madam – is a bright and spacious cafe that takes the less-is-more approach, favouring familiarity and relaxed vibes.
With his venue secure, it was time for Gareth to get back in the kitchen. Over a intensive process of tinkering with tastes and ingredients, Gareth edged closer to nailing down the kind of fare he envisioned for Grumpy Madam’s menu – simple and wholesome, with a sprinkle of worldly influences picked up while travelling. A concise all-day menu starts with simple snacks like eggs on sourdough from Danny’s Bread and English muffins with fried eggs and grilled ham, to Scotch eggs served with tea-smoked salmon and korma mayo and horta (sauteed greens) with lemon, fried egg, salted nuts and honey bacon. Lunch keeps its influences similarly broad, with the likes of poached chicken bibimbap, beef short rib tacos and market fish with goat’s curd up for grabs. The cabinet is stocked with takeaway sandwiches and wraps, perfect when paired with a cup of Blackboard Coffee, organic loose-lead tea from Chamellia, HRVST ST.’s cold-pressed juices or an effervescent sip of Famous Soda Co’s range.
Grumpy Madam is now open. For opening hours and extra details, click over to the Stumble Guide.
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