Bambaleros is a beautiful Latin American cafe nestled in the heart of the charming Mailing Road shops. This small shopping strip in Canterbury can only be described as quaint. The whole street feels like you have been transported to a small country town, time is no longer a concern and you are surrounded by cafes and gift shops. This little shopping strip even features a show box old fashioned lolly shop and independent book store. But by far, the most attractive quality of this street are the delicious cafes lined up one after another.
Originally I had planned to visit Cornelius, an amazing produce, cheese and wine store that doubles as a cafe. Their menu is amazing, particularly featuring their array of cheeses. However Cornelius was full and we were told there would not be a table for at least half an hour. So, to my second choice.
I am so glad I missed out on going to Cornelius, because Babaleros was delicious, enticing you in with their specialties written on a board out the front. The wait staff were very relaxed and told us to find a seat, before they brought menus and water on request to our table. The atmosphere in the cafe was light, this cafe does not try too hard but at the same time achieves elegance. All kinds of diners are welcome, whether you are looking for a meal, just coffee or one of their delicious sweets. Another gold star, breakfast is served until 2pm!
The menu was broad and includes meals to cater for every kind of taste. Full page breakfast menu, two page lunch menu, a kids menu section and sweet selections as well as dozens of drinks to choose from.
One of the best things about this menu is the way that it is equally suited to a warm or cool day. Sandwiches, open grills, the Bambaleros Platter for the adventurous and very hungry, as well as salads and soups for lighter meals. Of course this makes choosing what you want to eat a little more difficult, but worth the variety I think!
My fellow diner chose the Chicken Enchilada ($16) – Pan-fried chicken tenderloins with caramelised onions & sour cream wrapped in a grilled burrito; served with guacamoles. This sounded delicious! When this dish came out it was significantly smaller than I expected. The diner said that while the dish tasted nice, it was lacking in strong flavour that you would expect from Spanish cuisine. The diner also chose a Chocolate Milkshake which was thick and bubbly on the top with a creamy texture.
I chose the Chicken, Mushroom & Cheese Open Grilled Fingers ($9.5) , I was also given gluten free, sourdough and white bread as my bread options. Essentially the dish was moist poached chicken with sauteed mushrooms on a slice of bread, then covered with copious amounts of cheese. These where cut in to four ‘fingers’ and then served with salad. This dish was amazing! The mushrooms had a hint of garlic and the chicken was plentiful, perhaps there was a little bit too much oil from the mushrooms and cheese but I enjoyed it all the same. The bread was buttered on both sides giving it a golden colour and it was toasted until crisp. The side salad was simple and refreshing, a great cleanser when faced with so much cheesey-goodness.
Although the waitstaff were pleasant and very helpful, they often needed you to take the initiative on ordering. Children are welcome and catered for amply. This cafe is also Gluten Free friendly!
I will defiantly be returning to Bambaleros next time I have a craving for a well priced delicious meal. I also cant wait to grasp some of that old world charm with a spot of Devonshire Tea.
84 Maling Rd