Baked eggs and toasted banana bread: Shelagh Ryan invites you in for a taste of Melbourne at Lantana

May 22, 2012

Food & Drink, Melbourne

Shelagh Ryan (right) and sister Caitlin outside Lantana

Caitlin with Shelagh Ryan (right), the founder of Antipodean cafe Lantana

“I think we’ve been successful because a lot of Londoners are sick to death of eating at the same chains on every high street and drinking rubbish coffee.”
So says Shelagh Ryan, former Melbournite and the lively, down-to-earth founder of the phenomenally successful Lantana coffee shop in London.
“Londoners love Australian cafes because we do casual dining exceptionally well and it is something that has been missing in London or dominated by the big chains.
In Melbourne, we have a distinctive style: it’s about serving brilliant coffee with simple but interesting food using best quality ingredients and providing a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service.”
Lantana_coffee cup Melbourne coffee culture
Certainly the food has been a roaring success. When we last popped our head through the doors on a grey London morning, we were warmly greeted by delicious sights and smells, including the aroma of fresh coffee, baked eggs with sourdough bread, fruit compotes, baked ricotta with mushrooms, and our favourites, banana toast and corn fritters.
Is this the secret behind Shelagh’s success?
Corn fritters and toasted banana bread are definitely two of our most popular dishes but I always encourage people to try different things and we change the menu often to keep it interesting.  Independent cafes really stand out in London because of their individuality and the focus we put on the quality of what we serve from coffee to a piece of vegemite toast. We are also very popular with the thousands of Australians who live in London and miss the cafe culture from home.”
Corn fritters with lime aioli

Thai fishcakes with oriental salad

So what does Shelagh make of Melbourne cafe culture back home?
“I was absolutely blown away last time I visited Melbourne as I couldn’t believe how many new cafes had opened up and how fantastic they all are.  I spent a lot of time drinking coffee at Proud Mary in Collingwood and two of my old favourites – A Minor Place in East Brunswick and Tre Bicherri in Carlton.”
And if she was to sum up Melbourne coffee culture in three words? Simple. “A-Maze-Ing.”
Salvation Jane FrontBean up:
For a taste of Melbourne, head to Lantana, 13 Charlotte Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T1SN
Bean there, done that?
Shelagh Ryan has recently opened Salvation Jane near Old Street, London
Bean me up (to Melbourne)…
Discover where it all began in Australia’s coffee capital in our listing of Melbourne cafes
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  1. Mmmm, meet our new best friand…. | Visit Melbourne blog - May 24, 2012

    […] more on the best Melbourne cafes, check out our post with Shelagh Ryan at Lantana Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. cafe melbourne, cafes, […]

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