On outward appearances, Babble doesn’t appear to be the kind of place that would be my scene. The weatherboard corner-block cafe fronts onto gorgeous vistas of the Prahran Safeway carpark, the narrow outside bar seating is marred by practical but ugly beer mats and the wraparound wooden verandah attracts tanned boys in muscle Ts and lithe blonde nymphs called Jess.

However, a lesson learned is never judge a cafe by its outlook, as Babble was a HOT-worthy experience. Firstly, it’s actually not unpleasant to sit outside staring out at the carpark, as there’s ample opportunity to people-watch. Secondly, the service I experienced was uber-friendly –  at one stage I was being served from both sides simultaneously with one waitress taking my order while another waitress filled up my water glass. Thirdly, the lunch that I had was excellent.

Babble‘s menu is an extensive list of cafe favourites with a couple of specials of the day. I decided to try the Babble Pie served with salad and chips ($16.50) which on the day was beef and vegetable.

What came out was an enormous serving of tender cubed beef and veg slow-cooked in a ramekin and topped with the breathiest of puff pastries, a satisfying side of chunky chips with a sultana-studded tomato relish and for balance, some sprightly salad greens lightly dressed with simple olive oil. Babble‘s excellent rendition of a classic dish has encouraged me to return, beer mats or not.

For a breakfast view of Babble, check out Where’s the Beef?

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