Cafés

Cafés

Matcha waffles or black sesame lattes? What is life.

Au79 is the megalopolis of the cafe sphere. It’s Melbourne’s biggest cafe to date. Named after the element Gold or ‘ AU’ on the periodic table, the team have set golden expectations. The 200-seater could well-fit several of Melbourne’s more modest cafes. This is the first original venture from the Coffee Communication Culture Group, whose previous credentials include Sir Charles, Addict, Liar Liar and St Edmonds. When you have something good – replicate it and triple the size....

Kingsway brings me back to my teenage years. Those driverless days, catching the Glen Waverley line. Back then, it was an orderly spectacle of ‘nightlife’. The Western and Asian communities merging to form a super suburb. A handful of cafes existed, albeit not any good ones. Enter brothers – Brian and Nolan Taing, plus Joe La. With a wave of the Workshop Brothers wand, opening a cafe with food, was a natural progression. Brunch with an Asian twist  Unlike the other Workshop Brothers, the Glen Waverley location opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You won’t find boring avocado smashes.  But don’t worry, my Millennial friends. There’s plenty to insta and snap. The piece de resistance is the Asian inspired menu.......

You won’t draw the short straw at Short Straw, Hawthorn. Chef Jose Chavez (Stones of the Yarra Valley, Collective Espresso) takes Short Straw under his credentialed belt. The food has a healthy slant. Coffee is an undercover blend from Undercover Roasters. It’s raining cats and dogs in Melbourne and we’re keen to spend our Millennial cash on avocado smashes 😉 . ...

Cheeky Chewies is of two worlds. One side appeals to the Aussie larrikin: chicken wings, burgers and parmas. The other side,  journeys to the east. Brother and sister team, open a cafe where east meets West. Funnily enough, Cheeky Chewies’ choice of location is far West – in Laverton, where mentions of Nasi Lemak might draw puzzled looks. Admittedly, the only time I’ve visited Laverton was to eat jam doughnuts and to fix a broken phone screen at a questionable ‘electronics’ stall. A quick scan of the unassuming street – draws my eye to a singular Thai restaurant and funnily enough a Korean grocer? No doubt, locals have welcomed Cheeky Chewies with open arms. ...

ISIT cafe emerges as a strong contender in the South. There’s no denying, inner city cafes spread like gastronomic cyclones. In the wise words of ‘ Queer Eye for the Straight  Guy’, sometimes you need a lil’ zhush. Head chef Kim Kuruvilla, has rolled out a new menu. A makeover can do wonders, when you’re no longer the new kid on the block....

Smak your lips for a cafe that delivers nutrition and taste. “We know that creating healthy, portion controlled meals, that taste like Christmas is no mean feat’. Catering to the activewear crowd of South Yarra, whilst not scaring away the big brekky lovers is a challenge. Admittedly, I’m from the latter crowd, generally skeptical of the latest ‘superfood’ trends and health cafes. Have you tasted a golden latte? They’re unforgettable and not in a good way. So have a couple of blokes, managed to bring the ‘taste of Christmas’ to healthy meals?...

Penta goes against the definition of insanity. That is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The ‘Mischievous Little Dreamers’ – the same team behind Tinker, Mob Espresso and Temperance Society have unearthed the formula to lure the finicky Melbourne cafe crowd. There’s plenty of fish in the sea and many of us are hooked. You may have noticed similarities between all three sister cafes. The same successful formula is replicated with slight tweaks: bubblegum bright smoothies, colourful Pannacottas and hotcakes laced with gardens of edible flowers. One look at those smoothies and you know the ‘Dreamers’ have been here. But how does Penta compare to its’ sisters? The south east is booming with......

CH James or Charles Henry James was a budding philanthropist of the Northern suburbs. Well known in the north for his business flair, legend says that the laneway culture of Melbourne, was a legacy of CH James. Hurray, laneways where you don’t get mugged! CH James in Fairfield pays ode to the Victorian gentlemen. Owner Theo Krambias, inspired by the concept of a local hero, converts the old Alfio’s Caffe, into the CJ James of today. The outdoor courtyard is a popular hang amongst the locals. The cafe decorated with yester-year knick knacks – a pitcher fork here, a wagon wheel there. You will commonly find Theo greeting diners with an enthusiastic ‘Hello’. Despite, the inspiration from older years, the......

Humble Rays doesn’t need a slice of humble pie. Despite the pastel blue walls telling diners to ‘Stay hungry and be humble’, Humble Rays’ food is far from humility. It’s loud and proud. Colourful and vibrant. Owners Gough and Tinee, packed up their suitcases, moving from the much-loved ‘ Honey Badger’  in Hobart, to the rugged streets of Melbourne. Walking distance from The University of Melbourne, I wish Humble Rays was around when I was a ‘studious’ youngster. It certainly would’ve made University life more tolerable. On the weekends, its a quiet affair, relying on locals and the instagram crowd to fill the tables. Once semester hits, it’ll be a different story. No doubt,  it will peak the interest of......

Tinker goes against the definition of insanity. That is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The ‘Mischievous Little Dreamers’ – the same team behind Penta, Mob Espresso and Temperance Society have unearthed the formula to lure the finicky Melbourne cafe crowd. There’s plenty of fish in the sea and many of us are hooked. You may have noticed similarities between all three sister cafes. The same successful formula is replicated with slight tweaks: bubblegum bright smoothies, colourful Pannacottas and hotcakes laced with gardens of edible flowers. One look at those smoothies and I know the ‘Dreamers’ have been here. That’s successful branding. But how does Tinker compare to its’ sisters?...

Gontran Cherrier is a rock star baker, starting his journey in the culinary capital of the world. The Parisian baker has an impressive resume with Michelin experience, teaching at a top culinary school,  with books and TV shows to his name. With bakeries in Europe and Asia, Melbourne is a natural progression for Gontran’s next artisan boulangerie. With Melbournians’ existing willingness to line up for pastries and café culture– Smith St is the chosen home for the first Australian branch of Gontran. “I chose Melbourne for my newest international bakery because it is known for its excellence in food. I think it also shares a lot of similarities with Paris such as the café culture and laneways.” Gontran said....

Are you a Good egg or bad egg? Eggs had a temporary bad reputation, with the American Heart Association labelling them high in cholesterol. This fact, was later disputed. Now, our yellow centred friend is known for being rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and nutrients. Good Egg in South Melbourne celebrates all things egg. Greg Bremner, co-owner of Good Egg wanted a cafe to focus on good quality eggs – free -range and Victorian sourced. In a deliberate attempt to avoid the fastidious brunch, dishes veer on the simplistic side, but all feature egg prime and centre.  Walking inside, is an explosion of yellow. Clearly, the colour of yolk is the inspiration – from lemon curd cookies that......

Saint James says ‘Make brunch, not waste’. This British themed cafe is a story of two mates, leaving their hometown, travelling far and wide and opening a taste of home in Melbourne. The home of the Brexit is quite different from the land down under. There’s no question, our climate is hotter, the people are relaxed and the cafe culture is A-grade. But there’s much to love about the Poms, the British classics make you think of warm pubs and snowy nights. Oh and the football! I’m sorry Aussies, but soccer is a far superior game. In fact, Craig and Rich named Saint James Cafe after Saint James Park in Newcastle – home to Newcastle United. There’s not much to......

Lucy Lockett lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it. If by pocket, the writer means moolah spent on food. It’s a relatable problem. Once upon a time, two bloggers sacrificed some notes from their dishevelled Gen-Y pockets. You see, it seems we spend all our hard earned dough, on luxuries such as smashed avocado. So much so, we forego paying the unattainable mortgage. What does a white haired partner from KPMG know? The Melbourne cafe scene can reach deep into my pockets, anytime. Lucy Lockett, is named after a nursery rhyme, Lucy being a poor lass and Kitty Fisher being a rich courtesan. Tucked away in suburbia, Lucy Lockett is anything but impoverished. She’s understated and cool. The wide open......

Brunswick West was once a cafe starved suburb. Thankfully, a little strip of neighbourhood eateries has woken up the caffeine worshippers. Amidst quiet suburbia, where pooches bark – Lolo and Wren amps up the cool factor. Sitting amongst Lankan Tucker and Rude Boy Burger, Lolo and Wren caters to Albion’s St cafe requirements. Since opening in 2012, Lolo and Wren have consistently appeared in ‘top’ and ‘best of’ lists. From marshmallow engorged hot chocolates to the sinful croque monsieur, it’s not difficult to see why. The cafe specialises in artisan produce including 5 senses coffee, free range meats and gourmet cheeses. An irrelevant fact, as far as I can tell, Lolo and Wren, specialise in tastiness. The focus of the......

So you’ve decided to pop out a child? The days of quiet carefree brunches, need not be long gone memories. Children are the future, but oh god, please give your parents a rest. Leroy’s in Newport is a popular spot for young families. The recent refurbishment, includes a large backyard and shutters that open up to the neighbouring park. The unpretentious vibe means doggie and kiddy parents, can enjoy a bite in peace. Leroy’s is named after the neighbourhood cat. Not dissimilar to the popular fluffballs, Leroys has gathered fanfare amongst the locals – for breakfast just as good as the inner city. The all day breakfast has options for the indulger and the waistline watcher. From super salads to......

Cento Mani brings Colombian breakfast to Melbourne. The Melbourne cafe scene is overflowing with new openings. The cascade of edible flowers and freakshakes have reached tipping point. Cento Mani’s selling point is succinct. Where else can you eat Colombian food in Melbourne, yet alone Colombian breakfast? In all honesty, I can’t recall the last time, I tried a completely new cuisine. My only encounter with Colombian culture, is a tall Colombian high school friend and the yelling Sophia Vergara. Previous encounters with South American cuisine, include such staples as: Arepas, Pupusas and Gorditas. Already a fan of South American food, delving into the specific regions, is a decision that excites the tastebuds. The sad thing is – it’s only available......

Count to ten and imagine giant campfire marshmallows and chunky steak sandwiches. The picture is a reality at Ten One Ate, in the Essendon burbs. Akin to the Hare and the Tortoise, the North West (no, not the Kardashian baby) has slowly but truly, been gathering in speed, with new openings sprouting around town. In Melbourne, you need loudness to attract attention, either with instaworthy dishes or experienced chefs. For Ten One Ate, they’ve chosen the loud approach. A scroll through social media will reveal pages of artery-clogging, psychedelic freakshakes and fairy floss adorned french toasts. Admittedly, freakshakes were exciting when they first boomed. Now, looking at them, makes me a tad ill. Food trends, come and go. Our current......

Cheers big ears! Dumbo opens in West Footscray in the middle of suburbia. Across from the local primary school, it’s miles away from the flat-laying brunch crowd. In October 2015, the Dumbo founders, stumbled upon a lil’ old run down milk bar. Being in a state of disrepair for over 20 years, a wave of the renovation wand awakens the iconic building. White dominates the interior, with a Big illuminated ‘D’,  shining against suspended greenery and the waft of morning coffee. Lil Eva falls asleep on the couch whilst Mum and I pig out. A French bulldog looks longingly at his owner’s Moroccan Lamb clay pot. This is the way to initiate a long weekend. Dumbo serves all day breakfast,......

Once upon a time, three hungry bloggers entered the grand white doors of Fourth Chapter. They were hungry for waffles, french toast and caffeine, to refuel after a less than exciting work week. You’d be mistaken in thinking the door leads into a luxury boutique – perhaps dolce and banana or chan-nel? On the other side, lies the latest venture from Sarah Whitfield (Trei – Glen Waverley). Diversity in menu, differentiates Fourth Chapter from its east-side sister. There’s something for everyone – from the activewear paleo dieter to the ‘treat yo’self’ ladies. Don’t want to state the obvious – but we are of the latter.  Fourth Chapter gets an distinction for its light airy decor. The best part is the......

Hail Mary, full of grace, may the brunch be with thee. Dear Abbey resurrects the former Weslayan church on Gladstone St, integrating the old and new. The  red-brick, Gothic revival exterior is distinguished by the tall spire. Reaching for the sky, the same sky, that locals admired in 1890 – the church retains its historical significance in modern times. Sure, instead of coaches, there’s your local Coles across the road. Instead of repentance, there’s indulgence and gluttony. At my former University, it was disheartening to see beautiful old buildings, get knocked down for cold glass walls. At Dear Abbey, the juxtaposition of the old gothic red brick, with expansive glass, is beautiful. Amongst the warehouse and minimalist interior that dominates......

Breathe a collective sigh of relief. It’s the weekend and indulgent brunches are on the agenda. At Collective Espresso there’s the warm and hearty, the colourful and fresh and the favourite classics. Owner Julian Moussi purchased the Camberwell cafe in 2013 and judging by the crowd of locals, its still an east side hang. The monochromatic entrance says ‘ Meet me here’. The cosy space with communal tables, a scientific looking contraption and outdoor dining is for meeting friends. Be quick on rainy days, I did say its a cosy space. Coffee is Collective Espresso’s own unique Cookson St blend. For Camberwell, Collective Espresso is the go-to for locals. ...

Hoppa & Joe joins the battalion of new cafes openings. Others, march forward with matcha lattes in hand and cloches of billowing smoke. The Melbourne cafe scene is hard to beat. We also have the devotees willing to put in a cross suburb hike. Owner Kirsten Taylor – ex general manager of the beloved Chez Dre and Bibelot, understands the changing dynamics of breakfast. It’s a competitive scene, sprinting beyond the ol’ bacon and eggs. For the Northside, Hoppa & Joe delivers with a touch of epicurean quirk. It’s vastly different from the French ex. Instead of a bustling crowd, Hoppa & Joe is designed to serve the locals. It’s intimate and approachable, no glares from an impatient queue or......

Oneyada is Jinda Thai’s breakfast cousin – literally.  From one Thai family to the next, a marriage between two lovebirds, expands the Jinda Thai family into the realm of Thai breakfast . If I were a poet, I would present a soliloquy, professing my love for Jinda Thai. Alas, I’m a blogger, so I’ll photograph and eat it.  In the world of Thai food, nothing is more displeasing than excessive sweetness. In an attempt to cater to Western palates (mistakingly so), the heat and bang is often sizzled down. Not at Jinda Thai and not at Oneyada. When I heard the same family were extending into brunch,  my carb filled, untoned legs, couldn’t run fast enough. ...

For Melbournians, coffee is liquid gold, it’s fuel for the catatonic Monday slumber, it’s a reason to catch up with mates. When Starbucks failed in Australia, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. Say ‘No’ to Mocha Frappu(diabetes)ccinos and say ‘Yes’ to quality roasted beans.  Melbournians are a special breed, fiercely loyal to independent cafes. With venues such as Workshop Brothers, it’s easy to see why. The marble bench tops and sleek Scandinavian  interior, means less is more. Brothers Nolan and Brian continue to brew their passion at the newest CBD venue.  It’s the second home for Workshop, with the big sister located in Glen Huntley. The latest cool kid to join the venture is a temporary popup from......

Imploding marshmallow chocolate spheres, mutant noms aka doughnuts crossed with macarons – if you haven’t heard of Long Story Short, you’ve been living under a rock. The latter was a temporary pop-up, but Long Story Short continues to pioneer with a tasty, playful menu. The famous hot chocolate has been featured on Insider Food – a page loved by millions, known for spotlighting global food trends.  The food porn levels reaching an all-time high, with a Matcha White Chocolate option and a chocolate web joining the dream team. The team have since moved to a new Port Melbourne location, close to a park buzzing with pokemon. The crowd obediently follows – ready to snap, insta and tweet. ...

Punchbowl canteen isn’t your old school canteen. There’s no potato cakes or dimmies served by a suspiciously sweaty canteen lady. You don’t have to write your order on a paper bag and wait till the lunch bell rings. The warehouse interior, with bubble pop painted coloured walls, is light and airy, with a towering cacti reaching for the ceiling. Away from the Port Melbourne beachside, Punchbowl canteen has made its home amongst the suburbia side. City dwellers and locals will be chuffed, that their list of cafes is ever-expanding. If you’re a Pokemon Go player, there’s a park nearby classified as ‘lawn’, buzzing with Abras, Meowths and a Haunter. If you’re after some sea pokemon, a 4 minute drive to......

Saddle up and ride into Horse on heels in Fitzroy. After three years at The Waffle Club at Queen Victoria Market, co-owners Connie and Lunnie set their sights, on creating a waffle haven. Who doesn’t love waffles? They’re synonymous with breakfast deliciousness. Drizzled with syrup, topped with ice cream – waffles are pancakes with abs. By no means, is there a shortage of waffles in Melbourne. In fact, the sweet varieties come in all forms. At Sir Charles, they arrive bedazzled with multi-coloured meringue, at Mayday Coffee, it’s a warm marshmallow hug, at Aucuba, its potato waffles with a miso drizzle. But these are sweet varieties and no one has conquered the savoury realm. ...

Something wicked this way comes. By wicked, I mean supremely tasty. Behold, crispy Kim Chi waffles, loaded with shredded pork and 2 funks in the trunk – spicy kim chi and blue cheese sauce. Experience this unusual dish, at Something More. Walk past the hairy chest of George Constanza. His angry expression, speaks to the Saturday morning hANGER fast. Too late for breakfast, too early for lunch? Let’s save the calories for brunch. Settle your rear end within the natural Melbournian habitat. Warehouse interior, suspended greenery and the aroma of roasted coffee. Smells like Melbourne. ...

Brace yourselves, winter has settled its frosty behind in Melbourne. Keep warm this winter, with Son of a Pizzaiolo’s ‘Prima Colazione‘ menu. When brand perception is defined narrowly, in this case – woodfire pizzeria, its difficult to enter new realms. Brothers Frank and Rogue Romano, turn the wheels to include a good ol’ Melbourne brunch. Italian heritage filters though, amongst pops of golden yolk and cheesy scrambled eggs. The classics remain with pulls of linguine and comforting risottos. The team attempts to shrug off the pizza dominated image, with the above. No doubt, cheesy scrambled eggs and comfort food, will entice the Northsiders. But, how does the new menu compare to the Pizzaiolo favourites? ...