Vanilla Lounge is another of Oakleigh's many hot cafes. Any regular to the area knows that Oakleigh is busting with European style cafes, and the competition is fierce. Vanilla Lounge is opened only a couple of years ago, and is one of the most popular.
I've been an Oakleigh regular for a couple of years. Often on Sunday my family joins the rest of Oakleigh's (huge) Greek population, in search of a good coffee. My Mum's family grew up around the area, and also being Greek we love to occasionally indulge in the beautiful Greek cakes freshly made around here.
We used to frequent Nikos (Nikos Quality Cakes), but since Vanilla opened up we alternate between the two. Both are quite pricey.
Vanilla Lounge is on the corner along Eaton Mall. (I hate the name Eaton Mall... it was the name of a mean primary school teacher I had. Seriously, a few of my primary school teachers hated me wtf, two of them even called me a bitch! ME! To a 10 year old, WTF! I was a good, quiet kid. Discrimination against the not-cute smartass kids (I was dam ugly as a kid)). The menu is pretty extensive with snacks, light meals and main courses.
There are two main reasons we choose Vanilla rather than Nikos
1) Good coffee, I think I like it slightly better than Nikos
2) They have wedges, one of the only vegan options
However I find the pastries and cakes at Nikos a lot nicer. And sexier guys working there.
Here's my sexy coffee. Of course I need a large, regular is way to puny. Of course it was great, the Greeks know their coffee.
My sister and I shared the wedges, served with sour cream and sweet chilli. They were nice, hot and crispy, but on the pricier side (for cafe food) at $9.80.
My aunty had a toasted vegetable wrap. It wasn't very hot and needed to be reheated, and came with no side salad, as some places do. We also had the vegetarian panini (both $9.80), I don't know about the taste but it looked pretty average, also no salad (Nikos comes with tiny side salads).
All in all it wasn't spectacular, just an average meal. Maybe coz it was really noisy and packed being lunch time. But check out their beautiful display of cakes!!! Irresistible!
You even have a choice between large and small kok. Aren't we spoiled, ladies!
For the first time I tried their pastries, I brought my Mum a canoli (pastry tube filled with custard & chocolate cream). Yes it sounds tantalising, but it wasn't so great. The cream lacked texture and flavor, and the pastry was too hard. Will buy cakes from Nikos next time. The display is beautiful though, it's hard to resist trying everything!
Vanilla Cakes & Lounge
21/19-21 Eaton Mall
Oakleigh VIC 3166