The Whippet might be Linden’s most popular meeting spot. It’s where cyclists, runners and business folk converge for a morning coffee or breakfast. Despite having tables both inside and out, the restaurant is often a full house and therefore doesn’t take bookings.
Though they serve breakfast and lunch, you can’t go wrong with the former – think everything from classic breakfasts of omlets, croissants with a selection of toppings and fillings, and benedicts. The Hot Cross Bun French toast is a standout. It’s dipped in cinnamon and vanilla batter, pan-fried until golden, and drizzled with maple syrup.
Else opt for the Indian-spiced green chilli and coconut scrambled eggs with lime-spiked yoghurt, fresh coriander and shaved coconut served with naan bread. There’s also a breakfast burger with a smashed barbecue burger patty, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onion, tomato jam and a soft free-range egg on a toasted English muffin.
For lunch, there’s a selection of salads, hot pressed melts, burgers, light lunches and flatbreads.
Mouthwatering options include a fennel-spiced pork melt with parsley, garlic and chilli pork meatballs cooked in a homemade tomato sauce and served in a fresh baguette. Vegetarians will appreciate the Naked Burger, which comprises a mozzarella filled veggie patty, tempura avocado slices, pickled red onion, zucchini and peppers served on a bed of fresh burger garnish.
Dessert changes daily. As you walk in the door, take a peek at the freshly baked selection, which can include anything from rich and moist chocolate cake to traditional milk tart.
The coffee is a unique blend of Costa Rican and Ethiopian beans roasted specifically for The Whippet by Stil Coffee in Northriding. Milkshake combinations of peanut espresso or dark chocolate cream and peanut butter or Cape Strawberries and vanilla will satisfy that sweet tooth. Or try one of their designer hot chocolates such as the marshmallow mocha or the pumpkin spice flavour. And if you’re after something stronger, there’s a tempting array of cocktails and mimosas such as jasmine ginger, coconut vanilla or pear and pomegranate. Craft beers, ciders, red and white wine, and bubbly are on offer, too.
Service is efficient but not overbearing.
Don’t be intimated by the hustle, bustle and sometimes queues outside the eatery – it might be a popular spot but once you get inside and find a seat, The Whippet is a comfortable, cosy and friendly refuge.
As far as possible, The Whippet, sources ingredients from local suppliers.
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Truly credited with being the place that created the environment for neighbourly eateries, and being a food chain that encourages local suburbanites to supply baked goods and make preserves, meet for coffees and eat out. The Whippet leads by example, sourcing as much as possible, even the eggs, almost on the doorstep and being as green an example to the neighbours as possible.
You can eat breakfast from 7am to midday and The Whippet excels at these. An oats dish is cooked in coconut milk, drenched with fine cinnamon sugar and has a homemade compote of berries for swirling in. On the other side of the taste scale is a breakfast of two beautifully poached eggs on a crisp potato rosti under just-made hollandaise, plus some homemade tomato relish and a bunch of watercress. The Whippet’s breakfast platter is a fine idea for anyone because it includes something of almost everything. You can eat your way around it, starting with a little muesli with yoghurt and strawberry compote, some of the salmon and pickle rosti and then an egg benedict with ham. Lunches start at midday and, though the menu is divided into sections for burgers, salads, bowls, sandwiches, hot pressed melts and flatbreads, try not to miss the ‘tagine’ of chicken, chorizo sausage, peppers and coriander, with pieces of pita and homemade tomato sauce and a side of yoghurt. There are four kinds of burger, including a veggie one, but there is also a fondue burger. Unlikely as it may sound, that is really a crumbed chicken breast that comes with a three-cheese fondue sauce, some not-too-hot chillies, and pickled onion, with fine French fries.
The salads are substantial. For example, there is a steak salad that includes crumbed goats cheese, blistered tomatoes, pesto and fried onion rings. The bread is all homemade and that makes for great sandwiches. Try the avo one on fresh sourdough with some delicious hummus, sweet chilli and salads. Locals love the melts – toasted cheeses with big differences. An exciting one includes a smashed meat patty, melted cheddar, onion and rocket, in a toasted panini. The homemade flatbreads are another nice addition, though the simplest one with garlic, parmesan and herbs is the nicest of the lot.
There are always rather amazing bakes and patisserie, like tartlets of raspberries in crème anglaise, amazing gateaux or what seem like alarmingly local inventions that really taste good, like a meringue-crusted carrot cake. Yum.
The Whippet makes and sells its own blend of very good coffee that come in three sizes. There are lattes galore too, some flavoured: gingerbread, crème brulee, vanilla. The chai is ever popular and they have amazing hot chocolates, some with coffee. Boutique teas make up an important part of the drinks menu too, some almost seeming like hot cocktails. There are also the iced teas and coffees in addition to interesting shakes and smoothies. Mainstream and craft beers and ciders are popular here and there is a surprisingly large but low-key cocktail menu, including a cool and very lovely cucumber and ginger G&T. The winelist is restricted to five reds, five whites, five sparklings and a couple of rosés, many offered by the glass and nothing particularly scary about the estates or prices.
As ever, the coffee is fairly quick but that doesn't go for the rest of the service. It takes some time to be seated and billed. However the staff are pleasant and there is always a manager or owner nearby.
The décor is in keeping with the neighbourly upper-end crafty look. The people are ladies of the area, workers on laptops or film workers. The room and outside area are busy at most times. On Saturdays it can look terribly trendy. Ever-conscious of community values, management commissioned groovy new outfits for the staff, locally designed and manufactured.
There’s a stylish new range of ceramics for sale, featuring the lean dog.
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