Pod @ Post Industrial Design, Footscray

638 Barkly St, West Footscray | 0438 074 934
We went: Sat Nov 15 2014 | Rating: 23/25

Liked: 

I thought I had never seen Niccolo coffee before but it turns out I have (it’s scattered throughout Melbourne, including Mighty Boy in Fitzroy). I am really loving long blacks at the moment for a couple of reasons. One, I’m off milk. Two, I can do filter at home. Three, with a long black you get to taste the bean at its best (providing it’s done right). Four, it packs a punch!

chai

Pod didn’t disappoint with its coffee. My Niccolo long black was nutty with a touch of citrus. Loved it. We also had a Calmer Sutra chai with honey, which came in a generous pot that poured three cups worth.

poached egg

I ate the Israeli Eggs, which was a lighter version of the run-of-the-mill baked eggs you get everywhere these days. Spicy and sweet, the sauce and yoghurt really worked well together. We also had the poached eggs, asparagus with panchetta and truffle oil. We couldn’t fault either of these.

niccolo coffee

Sometimes it’s the little things that please. Sounds funny but I loved the water jug, the saucers, the quirky hanging light shades, the unusual furniture and the big window facing Barkly Street.

In short, this place is a real gem. Footscray is fast becoming Melbourne’s sleeping giant of cool. (But don’t tell too many people). I loved that the staff knew many of the customers by name. And the big communal table in the middle speaks volumes for the community vibe they’re promoting.

israeli eggs

Attached to Pod is a VERY HIP arts and crafts store called Post Industrial Design. Here you’ll find anything from t-shirts to furniture to books to jewellery to home-made beer kits.

menu 1menu 3 menu 2

Disliked:

The menu is not overly extensive but they are good at what they do, which is important.

Ka-ching: $43 (two people food and drink)

outside

store

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings: Coffee 5/5, Staff 4.5/5, Vibe 5/5, Food 4/5, Price: 4.5/5

Pod @ Post Industrial Design on Urbanspoon

The Little Man Cafe, Seddon

158 Victoria St Seddon | 9687 8881
We went: Sat Oct 11, 2014 | Verdict: 19/25

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Liked:

Food was consistent, delicious and beautifully present. We had the French toast, the Fritters and the Mexican Pot Eggs. Fritters were the pick of the bunch.

Coffee, by 5 Senses, was good. We had flat whites and a long black. No complaints.

The place was buzzing at 9am on a Saturday. Not a huge space (fits about 40 at capacity).

Loved the minimalist decor and subtle colour scheme. Baby blue on white works. Fresh.

Well-lit space… plenty of natural light.

Staff were pleasant.

Close proximity to Sourdough Bakery and Seddon Wine Store.

Local street art on Victoria Street (below).

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Disliked: 

Furniture looks like it came from Ikea.

No outside seating.

No specials.

Ka-ching: $82.40 for four people (food and drink).

Ratings: Food 4/5, Coffee: 3.5/5, Staff: 3.5/5, Vibe: 4/5, Price: 4/5. Total: 19/25

The Little Man Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Three Bags Full, Abbotsford

56 Nicholson Street Abbotsford | 9421 2732
We went: Sat 17 May | Verdict: 23 / 25

ImageMon-Fri 7am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4.30pm
http://www.threebagsfullcafe.com.au/

In a nutshell: slick operation in superb-an Melbourne brunch pocket. Queues out the door on weekends.

Food: the folks at Three Bags Full pride themselves on “keeping it simple”. Their recipe alchemy is all about imaginative dishes where the flavours of every ingredient complement each other beautifully.

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Our evidence: pulled pork shoulder brioche ($13), one of the specials – the Zucchini French Toast ($17) – and the Veggie Brekky ($19). I had the pork brioche. It seems I’m on a mission to try every pulled pork bun in Melbourne. This one is up there. Simple, creamy slaw complements the pork really well, and they give you a small side of pickles that you can add yourself. The lemon wedge was also a nice touch.

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The Zucchini French Toast was quite a heavy dish. The relish was “delicious”, the poached eggs “perfect” but overall, “the dish was just a bit much”. The Veggie Brekky was “a bit pedestrian”, said my mate. “It would have been nice to see them do something a bit special with it. I could have done that at home.” 3.5/5

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 Coffee: Not as many single origin options as neighbouring cafe Admiral Cheng Ho, but that doesn’t mean these guys don’t take it seriously. Quite the contrary. As you can see from the pictures below, my pour-over filter brew arrived on a wooden tray and in what looked like an medieval glass medicine container. Accompanying it was what I thought was a small glass of Jamison whisky with ice (never too early, especially before a bucks day!)… Alas, it was a palette cleanser. That’s right, the wank-o-metre just exploded. I needed to know what it was. “It’s called cascara,” our waiter said. “It’s the berry of the coffee that has been processed and we’ve infused it with sparkling water.”

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The coffee in the brown jar is a single origin from Ninety Plus Gesha Estates from Ethiopia. What makes it special is it has been ‘dry processed’ (sometimes called ‘natural’ coffee), meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or washed coffees. The taste, like most African single origins, was very fruity/citrus without being bitter. Very smooth. A nice drop. And extended tasting notes to boot. This bad boy meant to set me back a tenner, but I was only charged $8 (for some reason). 5/5

Vibe: Good vibe but it can get so busy that it’s hard to hear the person next to you. If you don’t like crowds or congestion, best avoid. 4.5/5

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Service: Service with a smile. Good coffee knowledge. Staff look like they want to be there and enjoy working there. 5/5

Ka-ching: $86 for the four of us, which included a $10 coffee and an extra chai. 5/5

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Roller Door Cafe, West Melbourne

13 Stawell St, West Melbourne | Ph: 0490 152 314
We went: Mon March 10, 2014 | Verdict: 7/10

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In a nutshell: Around the corner from North Melbourne Station, this pint-sized café punches above its weight.

We ate:
–        Badlands (Kransky, hash brown, leek, poached egg)
–        Eggs benedict

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Food: I really wanted to order Mr Beans but after being told they had run out of home-made tortillas, I had to settle for my second option – Eggs Benedict. I love Eggs Benny… the combination of beautifully poached eggs and rich, creamy, sweet, sour and salty Hollandaise sauce. Too often though the toast that sits beneath this mountain of goodness is soaked by the time you take your last bite. Thankfully, I did not have that problem at Roller Door. Their Eggs Benny is served on a thickly cut and well-toasted sourdough ciabatta and for me, that was the hero of the dish.

eggs benny

The good wife ordered a dish simply titled Badlands. This was a curious choice. I saw it on the menus, oh I saw it, but gave it a wide-berth as I feared it was ‘too heavy’ for a pre-midday Labour Day brekky. I reckon my initial preconceptions were vindicated, but to label it with the ‘too heavy’ tag would be certainly selling it short. The hashbrown was delicious and did a grand job at soaking the fat that dripped off the kransky. The leak was an interesting element – seldom does it appear on a brunch menu! I reckon this would be an amazing hangover cure, but steer clear if you’re about to hit the gym or run a half marathon.

kransky

 

Coffee:  all good. Can’t remember the brand. No single origin on the day we visited (although they advertise it on menu on web).

Price: $39 for two pax.

Ambience:  There are a number of pokey spaces to dine here. The main outdoor area, where we sat, resembles someone’s backyard. A poorly-kept backyard? I wouldn’t be offended if it were mine… though I’d probably sweep more often. However, it may not be everyone’s cuppa tea. It has a grungy feel but for mine, it works and isn’t the least bit out of place in a cityscape dominated by towering apartments. A number of quirky artworks adorn the walls, adding to the hipster vibe.


street art2

Service: the two staff they had on Labour Day coped remarkably well with the large crowds they had to serve. Perhaps they should have had a third on? We waited a while but were served with a smile.

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Family friendly? No. Not really. Some steps for prams to negotiate. Space is too small, which somewhat ironically, wouldn’t suit small kids.

Verdict: 7/10


Roller Door Cafe on Urbanspoon