I think this cafe ended up on my to go list when I was searching up “affordable cafes with good coffee” in Melbourne. There’s apparently coffee tasting here from their roasterie down the road so it quickly topped my list of ‘want-to-gos’. But that wasn’t our objective coming today. We definitely got out of bed at 11 for an 11:30 brunch date – totally on time because Google Maps guided us marvellously through the Melbourne roads. So, I guess we only just made it in time for ‘brunch’.
Elements of the skater grunge style layered the red brick interior, with retro wooden-boxed woofers hanging from the walls playing ‘On Melancholy Hill’ – Gorillaz. The pretty relaxed ‘rebellious’ vibe, with an orderliness, suited my converses and dark washed denim jeans. It also fed into my want of owning a skateboard and learning to skate. (FYI – I am extremely clumsy and have well-developed balancing skills that stop me from tripping on flat roads). Well, maybe a better want at the time was wanting to wear a skater cap to fit into the staff.
The three of us got ushered into a cosy corner of the room, where I snuck into the introverted comfort between my humans and a wall. I also was obsessed with the rustic table bouquet with Australian plants – the ones that look dried and don’t have much colour except for shades of demurred green. Food time.
This is one of the rare times that I would actually eat a burger in public. The messy dripping and large bites that leave food hanging from my mouth just never appealed to me. But I had to do it if soft shell crab was offered on the menu – one shall never deny a soft shell crab anything.
Homemade chips, thin-cut style were definitely the surprise for the dish. I don’t like my chips salted so they came in perfectly unseasoned slices. Skin on and had the spider web pattern you get from raw potatoes – fried to a point where you can still taste the vitamin juiciness. It’s funny commenting on chips because my mother called me ad hoc this morning asking me what was my secret to making wedges taste good because she couldn’t get it to the same crispiness that still had the potato flavour. I guess I’ll add making chips to the technical list on my CV.
The soft-shell crab wasn’t to disappoint and the burger buns were a springy softness to my liking. I would’ve liked a bit more spice and kick to the palette just because the menu mentioned jalapeños (love my chillies) but overall the textures and sauces worked really well and brought out the clean ingredient flavours.