Seven Seeds, Carlton

106-114 Berkeley Street Carlton | 9347 8664
We went: Sat April 12 | Verdict: 23 / 25
http://sevenseeds.com.au/

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In a nutshell: meeting the lofty needs of Melbourne’s fussiest coffee connoisseurs and brunch addicts alike.

We ate:
– barbecue pulled pork brioche
– eggs benedict
– black and green olive tapenade on toasted sourdough with eggs
– poached eggs with bacon

Food: if you’re after honest lunch fare then look no further than the barbecue pulled pork brioche. Too often while scouring the suburbs for Melbourne’s best brunch have I been left with food envy after another member of the brunch team has trumped my order. Not this time. Pulled pork can be hit and miss but done well, it’s a winner every time. This is an uncomplicated dish: brioche, pork, and coleslaw make up the bun. The side consists of curly shoestring fries with house-made aioli. It was close to the perfect dish if you’re after something on the lunch side of brunch.

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The good wife was full of praise for the olive tapenade on toasted sourdough with eggs. No surprise, really, as the bread is sourced from Dench Bakers in Fitzroy, one of Melbourne’s best. There were two types of tapenade: light and dark. She said the green tapenade (light) was the highlight. Eggs were perfectly done, sunny side up.

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Our friends ordered the eggs benedict and poached eggs with bacon. Mate who chose the eggs benny said: “the eggs were cooked very well but the prosciutto as the meat wasn’t ideal. I guess the hollandaise sauce was good but I was that hungover, I’m not the best to judge.” Everything was fine with the safe option, poached eggs with bacon. The menu, overall, is good without being exceptional. Most of the choices are fairly reliable brunch options. Not too risky. Food rating: 4/5

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Coffee: followers of this blog know I’m currently on the ‘pour over filter coffee’ train. As you’d expect, Seven Seeds has it. Unlike Auction Rooms, my coffee came with no tasting notes, just a word from the waitress that it was from Columbia. I have to say this made for an inferior experience as I love the little card that featured a map and information about the product that came with the coffee at Auction Rooms and Wide Open Road. I find it a bit odd that such a large coffee roaster that has coffee at the heart of its mission statement would not go that extra step. But then you ask, was the coffee any good? Yes, it was. Then that’s all that matters, right? Maybe. Perhaps the crew at Seven Seeds want to encourage the ‘everyday coffee drinker’ to take the plunge and order a filter pour over and not be bombarded with information. The brew itself was fruity with a sweet aftertaste. I’d happily order it again. Other coffees ordered included a soy latte, cappuccino and a flat white, which were all superb. Coffee rating: 4.5/5

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Vibe: this well-lit converted warehouse space is very Melbourne. If you’re ever in doubt about Seven Seeds’ commitment to coffee, you simply need to look at the layout of this place. One whole room, which you can see into, is taken up by giant coffee roasting machines. You can’t get in there but the room serves as a reminder of what’s important to Seven Seeds. Yes, they do food, but coffee is king. The vibe of a place is made up of several factors: the crowd it attracts, the numbers, architecture and interior decorating and the general feeling in the space. There was a general buzz that filled me with a general excitement as I chatted with friends over good coffee and food. Isn’t that what eating brunch with mates is all about? Vibe rating: 5/5

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Price: $80 for four pax. Value rating: 4.5/5

Service: the place was packed so we were herded into a ‘holding area’ where we could mingle with other table candidates and look enviously at those already seated. This was not as unpleasant as it seems. The wait was surprisingly brief and after 10 mins or so we were ordering coffees and getting stuck into the Saturday Age quiz. The staff here have a general way about them that says ‘I’ve got this’ despite it being quite frantic. This breeds confidence and a relaxed vibe. Our waiter looked a bit like Baz Luhrmann, too. Service rating: 5/5

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

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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.

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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.


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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