I still haven't decided where to have my post-detox celebratory coffee tomorrow, but if any of you are wondering where to go for your weekend brunch and coffee, may I suggest one of these places?
172 Oxford Street
Everyone's blogged about it, so I guess I'd better too. Coincidentally, I nearly moved into an apartment across the street, but I'm glad I didn't. That would have been disastrous for any detox! I've been twice, and the service was definitely better the first time, but it's still a great cafe, and definitely worth a visit. Coffee is clearly the focus, but there's a good range of cakes, sandwiches and cooked items on the menu too.
Cute flat white!
The first time we came here, the coffee was way too strong for Sandra. When we told our waitress, she let us know that they always use a double-shot in their milk-based espresso coffees. A-hah! We'd been wondering why the lattes at coffee temples are always so strong. Sandra would have been happy for them to just bring out a little jug of hot milk, but our waitress said the baristas wouldn't be happy unless the coffee was perfect, so she got them to make a single-shot flat white. Nice! And now we always know to order a single-shot.
Now, espresso is all well and good, but I am totally into filter coffee at the moment. It's less likely to be stuffed up, you get a cleaner flavour and - hurrah - there is less residue in the bottom of the cup. I cannot stand coffee with cloudy residue!
When I asked our waitress for the 'cleanest' black coffee, she got the barista to come out and have a chat with me about the different methods they use. I ended up deciding on a pour-over filter type of coffee. To be totally honest, I didn't pick up everything he said - I hadn't had my coffee yet, he was probably onto his 3rd already, and he was discussing different bean grinds, pressure, how the clover/siphon machines work, how the exact water temperature affects the extraction of the flavours.....
And he also showed me this cool filter!
And then I got my coffee... yum. I love the way the steam is concentrated in these sloped glasses, giving you an intense coffee aroma as you drink.
This visit was actually a few months ago, so I can't remember what exact bean was used, but they change quite frequently, and there's quite a big range.
Chive-flecked scrambled eggs with caramelized onions, rocket and grainy toast.
Peanut butter and toast! This was mine. Sometimes even I am not in the mood for a huge cooked breakfast.
Now, let's all gasp at their huge espresso machine. We tried to take a photo of the machine as we were leaving, but one of the super-friendly guys behind the counter was all like, "Can I take the photo for you?" and took this awesome shot of the grip-heads from the inside. Thanks dude!
Market Lane Coffee
Shop 13 Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road
(Entrance on Elizabeth Street)
South Yarra VIC 3141
Ph: 9804 7434
I've blogged about Market Lane before, and it is still awesome. Fleur rocks! And I know Proud Mary source a lot of their coffee from here too. I still haven't tried any espresso from here yet, as I can never go past their Japanese-style iced pour over! I like it with a touch of (unhomogenised) milk and a sprinkle of (Costa Rican rapadura) sugar.
They had some pretty perfect-looking macarons the last time I went, and in my favourite flavour! Passionfruit and chocolate.
The one in the background is pistachio, and was particularly impressive for its natural, subtle nutty taste. Not a drop of artificial pistachio essence to be found! It's almost impossible to find good macarons in Melbourne. I don't mind the delices at the Lindt cafe, but they can be quite hit or miss.
Liar Liar Cafe
90 Kinkora Rd
Ph: (03) 9818 8864
Liar Liar is walking distance from my old high school, but don't let that put you off. Compared to Proud Mary and Market Lane, this one seems more focused on the "cafe" than the coffee, and it's a pleasant place to spend a weekend morning, even if it is a little noisy and crowded. From memory, they do have a Clover machine, but the morning I went there, I wanted the familiar comfort of a latte.
Eggs Benedict, with creamy hollandaise and runny egg yolks.
Mushrooms on toast with tahini-yoghurt sauce
I think it's Dench grainy bread (my fave!), and the mushrooms had a satisfying, deeply savoury flavour, which was enhanced by the generous addition of rosemary.
I know that these cafes, and many of the new wave coffee temples that have been super-blogged are very similar - single origin coffees sourced from Fleur, Dench bread, eggs benedict, a Clover machine and so on... Does anyone have a favourite place to get coffee that's off the beaten (blogged) track?