Cru is a delight. A dining experience that recalls images of a youth finding the first dandelion of the spring and wistfully blowing off the pollen into the forthcoming season of warmth…
Wait. No, it’s not. It’s not like that it all. Cru is just really good food and really good coffee and really, really good wine.
Nestled on the corner block of Glenferrie and Cotham roads, Cru has been gaining a rep amongst residents of Kew as a new local favourite. Owned and run by four middle aged professionals, Cru is the manifestation of over 2000 collective dining experiences. I sat down in the candlelight on a frosty Wednesday evening with co-owner Annie Rose (pictured below) – part sexual education teacher, part mother of three, total badass.
Cru has been built on a shit ton of experience from our side of the table. Having lived in Melbourne for most of their adult-lives, Annie, along with husband Peter Rose and business partners Robyn Blake and Andrew Pickering have eaten out a lot. So when the midlife crisis came knocking, they all decided it was time to make a splash in the Melbourne hospitality whirlpool. And thus on the 8th day, God said, ‘let there be Cru’, and this lovechild was born.
Cru is an unpretentious crossroads between an appreciation for dining simplicity and a seasoned love of the finer things in life. Its menu is evidence of this. Dishes are named and ingredients listed, and it’s refreshingly devoid of wank. It is what it is. And it’s pretty darn good.
By day, Cru brings the ’20 minute wait on a table’ brunch scene to Kew — it’s all eggs on toast and Bircher muesli and speciality coffees galore. It’s by night, however, that Cru begins to shine.
Wine fanatic and man-about-town, Anthony D’Anna (Boccacio Cellars), is responsible for the cellar’s stocking. Around 80 different wines are on offer, with a strong focus on Italian and European blends. And while you might not have any idea what makes them special — the crew at Cru (sorry, I’m sorry, I just had too) most certainly will. Bar Manager Angus Hean knows his shit, giving the in-depth low-down on everything from the notes of the wine to the alcohol content. He also wears a cool hat. And he makes a killer cocktail. Taste like fresh juice, feels like drunk.
Now, without meaning to directly insinuate that the owners have drunk an obscene amount of fine wine over their collective years of existence — the way the bar menu works so nicely with what’s flowing really does suggest the work of functioning alcoholics. Food at night is simple and effective. Sardines with tomatoes on garlic sourdough. Delicious. Braised pork shoulder with ginger beer, pine mushroom, chestnut and pomegranate. Meaty. Cheese platter. Perfect. It’s handcrafted gluttony at its finest.
Eating and drinking at Cru encourages the timeless revelation that perhaps this is what life is all about. Hedonism. It’s great. Stop trying to tell yourself otherwise. Yolo etc.
Cru Cafe/Wine Bar
916 Glenferrie Rd. Kew