To Be Or Not To Be, a new Shakespeare-inspired stunner, opens in Westlake
When Hamlet uttered the iconic phrase “to be, or not to be”, there’s no doubt he was contemplating matters far more serious than brunch. But when it comes to new Westlake eatery To Be Or Not To Be, the only question we need to concern ourself with is “to eat, or not to eat”? It’s not even a question, really. The fetching cafe’s menu is a trove of tantalising tempters – the kind of fare that would even have the Bard himself waxing rhapsodically about its enlivening properties. Read on to see what this newcomer has in store …
Any playwright will tell you that inspiration can strike at any place and any time. For Urvik Bhalani and Reagan Nongkhlaw of Method To The Madness, the opportunity to pen act two of their Shakespeare-themed hospitality story came out of the blue. The duo’s Kenmore venture has been winning over the hearts and stomachs of locals since opening in 2018, quickly amassing a following and renown for inventive fare and top-notch, personable service. Earlier this year the team was approached to take over a vacant cafe space at The Hub in Westlake, a suburb in sore need of more community-focused dining options. The location’s potential as a local nexus was readily apparent, so Urvik and Reagan, alongside newly minted business partner Sean Donnelly, got to work on To Be Or Not To Be – the group’s second eatery informed and shaped by the work of earth’s greatest dramatist. The space (formerly home to Cafe 63), was overhauled completely, with the team settling on a minimalist visual identity accented by refined-yet-understated design elements – think grand archways, curved walls and a muted-yet-classic colour and material palette. To Be Or Not To Be’s 70-seater layout is segmented into three areas – the interior (named Juliet), an alfresco space (dubbed Romeo) and a laneway space, the latter of which will soon be adorned in Shakespeare-inspired murals.
Much like how production companies have been known to reinvent and recontextualise Shakespeare’s works, so too has To Be Or Not To Be’s kitchen team looked to reinvigorate brunch classics. To Be Or Not To Be’s menu takes inspiration from Asian cuisines, with the kitchen team taking great strides to pair the familiar with the unfamiliar while also making the offering accessible to any and all dietary requirements. The adventurous breakfast menu features the likes of a citrus syrup-soaked almond bostock with vanilla marscapone, seasonal fruit and lemon curd, Hong Kong peanut-butter waffle with chocolate cremeux, citrus soil, orange caramel and Tim Tam peanut-butter ice-cream, and Chinese Pork Benny with lemon-potato écrase, poached eggs and yuzu hollandaise. At lunch the kitchen adds heartier options like fermented chilli and blue swimmer crab laksa, cheeseburgers and lamb-shank massaman curry to the mix, while the cake cabinet (filled with gluten-free treats) and pastries from Brasserie Bread offer snacks on the go. Veneziano beans are To Be Or Not To Be’s coffee of choice, which is available across milk-based coffee, batch brews, effervescent coffee spritzes and the cafe’s own coffee board, which offers jitter junkies an espresso, milk coffee and cold brew to sample. With juices, smoothies, milkshakes and even some brunch-appropriate cocktails also available, To Be Or Not To Be will boast an all-star cast of considered culinary characters.
To Be Or Not To Be is open now – you can find opening hours and contact details in the Stumble Guide.
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