The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges offer a huge range of award-winning wines and cocktails, quality multicultural dishes, restaurants and cafes showcasing local produce and culinary talent, creating the food we love to eat.
If you’re dining in our region, take the time to discover these incredible signature dishes and the unique stories behind what makes them some of the best bites and bevs.
In Upwey, Maria Cafe brings the perfect blend of brunch and Mexican fiesta vibes. As the sister cafe to Ferntree Gully's popular Lorna and Pakenham's Nancy Eatery, Maria is named in honour of co-owner Omar Viramontes' grandmother.
Trust us when we say there’s a lot to love on this menu. From Mexican breakfast nachos to a refreshing smoothie bowl and coffee by Industry Beans, you know you're in for a great meal here, and their signature dish, the Eggs Benedict, is not your average ‘eggs benny’.
Maria Melbourne was named in the Top 50 cafes in Melbourne in the Good Food Guide for 2022.
The Signature Dish
The cafe takes influences and flavours from Omar’s Mexican heritage but spins them into all-day brunch. In collaboration with executive chef Rob Hawke, Maria’s menu combines Omar’s memorable Latin dishes that he grew up with; Rob’s finesse and their Benedict dish are no exception.
Chef Rob loves eating out and always appreciates a good take on the trusty brunch staple: Eggs Benedict. Based on this, he loves to explore ways of using different elements to bring his unique Benedicts to life, whether it be Kaiserfleisch or vegan alternatives. He’s spent four years with Maria and sibling cafe Lorna creating the dishes we love to eat. Currently, at Maria, the original Maria Benedict was on their very first menu and came back by popular demand.
The dish features all house-made elements, including sweet potato and Oaxaca (Pronounced Wah-Hah-Ca) croquettes, chorizo ragu, poached eggs, hollandaise and capsicum jam.
“The salty chorizo ragu provides the perfect balance with the sweet potato croquettes, with both highly complimented by the acidic red wine capsicum jam and traditional hollandaise sauce”, says Rob. “It’s no wonder it came back onto the menu; it’s a fan favourite.”
The best bit? You can get it daily on the menu, morning or afternoon.
This Benedict is so well-loved that it even features in the charity-driven cookbook, OnePlate’s ‘Brunch in Melbourne’. This means those home masterchefs can have a crack at cooking this delicious dish themselves.
Want to discover more incredible signature dishes and the unique stories behind them?
Hola.Maria Melbourne is the Mexican inspired fiesta you've been looking for situated in the heart of the Upwey township. Fancy a burrito and a beer…