Bola Bake, Airport West

MELBOURNE | Picture this. You’re enroute to or from Melbourne airport, looking for somewhere to have breakfast or lunch. You’ve got a few places on your list, but nothing that’s close to the airport. You could eat at the airport, or you could head to Bola Bake. It’s a cafe inside a surprisingly cosy converted warehouse in the industrial suburb of Airport West, just 10 minute drive from the airport.

I was invited to check out Bola Bake by Scot Nottle, who owns the cafe with his wife Pakchima “Mini” Punapaprasurt. Mini’s the head chef at Bola Bake, and she’s honed years of experience working in the kitchens some of Melbourne’s top brunch spots into what she’s does here. Mini’s menu is one that exemplifies the kind of contemporary Asian/Australian fusion that’s a signature of this city.

It’s the kind of menu that, while only containing around 15 options, has you indecisively jumping between them because you want to eat it all. The most popular item on the menu, and for good reason, is the Squid Ink Mentaiko. A bowl of squid ink spaghetti is adorned with magura poke tuna, tobiko, mentaiko brown sauce, and an onsen egg. It’s a savoury, salty dish that encapsulates the flavours of the ocean in the best way.

Another winner is the “Okono Benny”, which sees okonomiyaki fused with eggs benedict. The classic Japanese teppanyaki pancake topped with smoked salmon, baby spinach, poached egg, hollandaise, tobiko, and bonito. It’s the best of both worlds.

Even simpler dishes, like fried chicken on waffles, stand out at Bola Bake. What can be quite a heavy dish in less experienced hands is a light wonder here. Mini’s version sees light, fluffy waffles form a bed for crispy Korean fried chicken, Kewpie, pickled cucumbers, honey glaze and a fried egg.

There’s cakes and pastries to enjoy in or-to go in the display cabinet at the counter. Think yuzu or taro burnt Basque cheesecake, and Nutella almond croissants. To drink, it’s the usual cafe suspects, along with great house creations like a lavender, rose, and espresso latte; and crunchy topped peanut butter latte.

If you’ve got a dog, you’ll be happy to know that Bola Bake is a dog friendly venue. There’s free house-made dog treats for your furry friend, and if you want, Scot will take a snap of them for Bola Bake’s doggy wall of fame.

Bola Bake

22A Fraser Street
Airport West
Victoria 3042

Telephone: 0468 836 289
E-mail: [email protected]

Mon – Fri: 7:00am to 3:00pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00am to 3:00pm



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