I visit godmother S fortnightly. She is in her late 80s and was my mother’s landlady when mom was studying at the University. Recently, godmother issued me a challenge – each time we go for a meal, I have to surprise her with a new place. Tough demand – having lived here for more than half a century, godmother had probably been to most of the older restaurants (a.k.a. not-opened-this-year places). Hence, I felt triumphant when I discovered Timeless Cafe & Bakery, the cafe which gave a whole new meaning to “hidden gem”.
Each year, Timeless Materials and sister company Kieswetter Demolition successfully divert some 70,000 tonnes of building materials, furniture and architectural items from local landfill by reclaiming and re-purposing them. These processes naturally gave way to new standards in recycling and brought to fruition the salvaging of architectural details and ‘timeless’ material.
Timeless Materials showroom is located in a historic converted barn, located on an original farm homestead. Recently the original henhouse on the property has undergone major renovations, and has been converted into a cafe and bakery.
This beautiful old structure has been restored, and the interior finishes and fixtures have been completed using reclaimed materials, source-salvaged from Timeless Materials.
We missed the entrance on our first attempt to get to the cafe so here are some signs that you are heading to the right place.
Driving on Northfield, you will see this little sign:
After turning in, you may feel as though you have entered a construction site:
Continue along the sandy path bravely and you will see the old “Ali Baba Steakhouse” signage.
If you see a sign indicating parking, do not doubt despite the area increasingly like an abandoned site – follow it:
There will be tons of parking space beside this little hut:
After parking, find this “Eggs, no Sun sale” sign. Head towards the bricky building behind it. Do not pass Go (if you want to snag the possibly last available scone):
Congratulations, you have found the Timeless Cafe & Bakery!
Y and friend J came along on this timeless journey with godmother and I.
Friend J said the cafe felt like a log cabin; a place where you can have a mini-getaway from the busyness of the outside world; a cosy cafe where the aroma of coffee allows you to forget about time while catching up with friends. She thought the cafe was appropriately named.
Immediately at the door is the bakery counter. We were brought to the dining area at the back after informing our server that we were hoping to get a hot lunch.
Everything is freshly baked in-house.
Drinks menu remains the same but food menu changes daily.
So does baking menu.
More snacks/baked goods for sale.
Old school charm.
We were seated and offered the menu of the day.
Friend J and Y complained about the small menu – lunch menu only offers two homemade soups, three sandwiches (one vegetarian) and two quiche (one vegetarian) options. A house salad is also available with dark cherry & balsamic vinaigrette. I, on the other hand, was perfectly happy. A condensed menu demonstrates the kitchen’s strong focus and confidence on what they would like to deliver to their customers. Way better than those jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none 20 thousand pages menu. Sometimes, less is really more.
On the Table for Maple:
- Vegetarian quiche of the day ($6)
- Roasted lamb quiche of the day ($6.50)
- Curried shrimp salad sandwich ($7.50)
- Peameal Bacon sandwich ($7)
- Side of soup ($2)
- Mushroom, roasted garlic & feta scone ($2.52)
Did not manage to sample everyone’s orders so had to rely on their descriptions. Each item was served with a slice of red pepper, cucumber and biscuit.
Godmother’s vegetarian quiche – sweet potato, cranberry, apple, spinach and goat cheese.
Friend J’s quiche – roasted lamb, roasted garlic, black olives, red onion, red peppers and sundried tomatoes.
Friend J praised the flavourful quiche and commented on how the cafe generously allowed the bold lamb flavour to strongly come through. She also liked how the crust was not overly buttery yet still fragrant, but thought it could use a little more baking time as it felt a little floury. Godmother was stingy on comments and simply gushed that hers tasted lovely.
Y’s peameal bacon sandwich and side of soup – cranberry pecan chutney, lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese and dijon mayo on their special sundried tomato & oregano bread; tomato, black bean and fennel soup.
Y said that although it was a basic sandwich, little tweaks really accentuated the dish. The cranberry pecan chutney and peameal bacon allowed for sweet and savoury in a single bite. I tried the bread and realized that when Timeless cafe uses an ingredient, they ensure that the ingredient shines through the dish. The oregano added a subtlely complex dimension to the simple sandwich. Y was surprisingly stuffed after the sandwich and soup.
I happily snagged the most exotic item on the menu.
Curried shrimp with avocado, spinach and tomato on their apricot pecan bun.
I really appreciate how every sandwich has been thoughtfully crafted, each served on a different bun/bread that have been freshly baked in-house. My sandwich was served slightly chilled. I usually prefer toasted panini-style sandwiches as being compressed allows for optimal burst of flavour with each bite. Since this sandwich was slightly on the i-can’t-fit-it-into-one-bite side, I tried compressing it slightly and noticed that the bun was rather airy. Despite that, it still had the chewiness that I love, with tingling sweetness from the dried apricots. The shrimps were nicely sized and succulent. Avocado provided a smooth richness to the mild curry flavour.
The only other sandwich we did not order was the veggie panini – roasted mushrooms, sundried tomato, caramelized onions, red pepper, Camembert cheese, hummus and balsamic reduction on cranberry sunflower seed and ginger focaccia bread.
We decided to end the meal with one of the cafe’s specialty baked goods – mushroom, roasted garlic and feta scone
It was very garlicky – friend J and I did not mind. Y would probably not have enjoyed it as much; plus it had mushrooms so he was not even keen on trying. It was my first savoury scone as I have always gone for the sweeter varieties. Friend J thoroughly enjoyed the scone’s crisp top, complemented with a chewy yet crumbly texture.
The owner said that minimum advertising has been done so they are relying on word of mouth to get new customers. If you are going for the baked goods, go early as they do run out pretty fast.
Godmother’s challenge accomplished.
1) $ – Sandwich plus side of soup will be around $9.50
2) Charming log cabin style cafe
3) Prompt service, personable staff
4) Thoughtfully crafted menu items which changes daily