Rena's Room Cafe and Gallery

Reviewed on Mon, 23/06/2014 - 13:37pm
Total Reviews: 4
Reviewer Rating
Overall rating: 8 Great
Experience: 8 Great
Quality: 8 Great
Recommend: 8 Great
Usefulness: 8 Great
Ren'a Room cafe is always busy

4 Poster bed/dining table
Recently Mick Pacholli and I enjoyed visiting a new and interesting café in East Malvern called Rena’s Room. This place is well worth a visit.
Rena’s Room is the brainchild of respected Melbourne photographer Rena Harvey, and combines very good coffee and food with a gallery and photographic/design studio in the rear. Though the studio is private, the amalgamation of culinary, commercial and artistic creativity imbues Rena’s Room with an atmosphere distinctly different from most cafés. The vibe of the place is absolutely lovely. It has an airiness and a lightness to it that is a welcome change to the sort of über-cool hipster joints currently popping up around Melbourne.
The reason for it working seem pretty obvious when you’re there. Rena’s Room has very good and engaging staff, who appear to enjoy being there and enjoy doing what they do. The food is beautifully fresh, distinctive and tasty. The coffees I had were very good. On top of that, there is always something interesting to look at, whether you’re situated in the main café area, the more private back room, featuring a 4 Poster bed/dining table and a plethora of art and knick-knacks, or even the loo. Much of the art is produced by Harvey and a loose team of about a dozen stylists, designers and videographers, and this broad creative base means the Rena’s Room is chockers with small touches; groovy bric-a-brac, the odd ebullient quote or an assortment of interesting books to thumb through. Together, the mix of good staff, coffee, food, décor and ambience works exceptionally well.

Banana Crepe Petitye Lemon Cheesecake

As regards the food, my stomach has absolutely no complaints. Mick and I enjoyed a light and tasty buffet, beginning with a lovely smashed avocado, subtly seasoned with mint, chilli and lemon, on Sourdough. Avocado is easily ruined, but the Smashed Avocado was pretty damn good; there was enough seasoning to contrast the avocado taste nicely, but not enough to overwhelm it. A perfect starter…This was followed by Black Rice, tossed with Smoked Lemon Chicken, Pomegranate and Watercress Salad with a Lemon Seed Dressing. Again, this was quite lovely, and the contrast of textures and flavours - the sweetness of the rice against the sharpness of the watercress and lemon was very nice and the combination something I have not not had before.

Borek with a light Garden Salad

Smashed avocado, subtly seasoned with
mint, chilli and lemon

Black Rice, tossed with Smoked Lemon Chicken Tasty fresh dips and crusty toast

Rounding off the meal nicely was a slice of Borek with a light Garden Salad, then a tasty Lamb Salad, served with red onions, asparagus and an Orange and Watercess Salad. Like the earlier meals, these were just the right portions, and each enough of a contrast from the previous meal to keep your stomach and mouth interested.Rena’s Room can be found at 301 Waverley Road Malvern East, opens from 8am to 4pm everyday and is conveniently located at the last stop of the Number 3 Tram line
Positive points Negative points
  • Bright
  • airy cafe with outdoor sitting
  • close to Route 3 tram stop
Mick Pacholli (Admin)
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