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Wine & Dine
July 22, 2016

Cafés in Melbourne That Will Make You Want To Eat Breakfast All Day Long

Text by Aakriti Handa

We bring you the best caffeine fixes in Melbourne

Rustica Canteen


The scoop:
The fresh, hand-crafted bread, baked-on-premises will certainly entice the brekky lovers in Melbourne. Borrowing from parent restaurant Rustica Sourdough in Fitzroy, the café employs the traditional sourdough process— a technique which allows the ingredients to mature and the dough to rise by itself, without the use of Baker’s Yeast. The result is thick, yet light bread, which isn’t chewy and brings out a pleasant blend of flavours.

We love:
Industrial windows that let in ample natural light, plenty of timber to accommodate groups and the classic aroma of house-roasted coffee.

Must try:
From the assortment of bread variants that the eatery has to offer, their baguette is best had with roasted lamb shoulders; and the brioche French toast. Their eggs benedict and beef brisket happens to be a favourite amongst the locals. Quench those sweet cravings with their almond and hazelnut croissants and cronuts. Finish with the quinoa and coconut cream pudding to pay homage to the dessert gods.

Location:
33 Guildford Lane, Melbourne CBD

St. ALi Cafe


The scoop:
The St. ALi family, as they like to call themselves, spearheaded the specialty coffee movement in Melbourne. Back in 2005, Mark Dundon opened the first flagship restaurant and began roasting coffee. The baristas of St. Ali bring you the finest of single origin coffee beans. Yes, they take their coffee very seriously.

We love:
The industrial facade in contrast with the cozy, rustic interior—long wooden tables and old-school paraphernalia. The menu is set by executive chef Andy Gale with edgy names and puns galore. The wholesome affair is a great mix of good music and fresh, house roasted single-origin coffee beans.

Must try:
The aforementioned coffee is a given. The ice cold latte which is served in a beer bottle with their own label packs quite a punch. My Mexican Cousin is a scrumptious meal of corn fritters rustled up with kasundi; and the RRRReally Good 4 You – the classic juicy steamed salmon and quinoa salad are pieces of culinary art. The original Black Egg that consists of scotch eggs dusted with fennel pollen served with pig ears salad is not to be missed either.

Location:
12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne, Port Phillip, Victoria 3205, Australia

East End Den

The scoop:
Close to Melbourne’s theater quarter, the East End Den is a hidden gem for a pre-movie quick bite or a post-movie date. Simply show your movie ticket for the night to your waiter and receive 10% off your total food bill as well as a complimentary cup of coffee with any food order.

We love:
Despite being in a basement, it is not at all dingy! It’s a fun place with an energetic vibe that is open well into the wee hours to satiate the hunger cravings of the nocturnal. Raised tables and black metal bar stools are complemented by eclectic art. The open bar and kitchen ensure there are no surprises in your plate and an absolutely charming staff—friendly and hospitable. An uncomplicated, no-fuss menu with an interesting list of cocktails will guarantee a memorable night.

Must try:
East End Den continues to maintains it legacy of having something-for-everyone. Amongst the three varieties of sliders, the Wagyu beef sliders with a smattering of pickle on top are a must. In the drinks category—Gangsta’s Paradise is a popular choice in case you want to walk out a little tipsy. To stimulate your senses, try the Tangerine Sky. You’ll love the mix of the bittersweet citrus flavours and the magical and warm fragrance of oranges.

Location:
Basement, 51 Little Bourke St Melbourne, Vic, 3000 Australa

Brother Baba Budan


The scoop:
As far as the legend goes, Baba Budan was a 16th Century Indian Sufi saint who smuggled seven coffee beans out of the port of Mocha in Yemen and brought them back to India. This allowed coffee to grow elsewhere in the world. Melbourne was so pleased, that they decided to christen a restaurant after him.

We love:
Brother Baba Budan is an invitingly snug place, which is all about coffee. While the interiors have little other than teakwood furniture with small tables, the chairs on the ceiling make the decor quite edgy. The bistro gives out a hipster and convivial vibe and we absolutely love their taste in music.

Must try:
It would be a shame to miss their single origin coffee of the day. We recommend the flat white; you’ll love the creamy texture and smooth aftertaste of the blend. Team it up with a lemon and blueberry cake.

Location:
359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Hopetoun Tea Room


The scoop:
In 1893, the Victorian ladies’ Work Association ran a small tea room at shop number 6 in Block Arcade which was under the City Property Company. Later, the association was dissolved but the tea rooms continued to operate and were moved to their current location. Now they are called The Hopetoun Tea Rooms, after Lady Hopetoun.

We love:
The vintage, rather Victorian setting with a well-lit cake display which no less than a well-conceived master piece. The typical emerald green canopy which is an array of old-fashioned cakes, tarts and desserts—including cupcakes and macaroons will set you in the mood for a morning of gluttony. With a plethora of organic tea variants, the place is groovy and reeks of elegance.

Must try:
The creamy chai latte to go with scones and jam. Dessert lovers must sample the divine Royal Chocolate Mousse; the multi-layering of chocolate syrup, mousse, crunchy biscuit and thin white chocolate base. Their signature high tea is prepared fresh daily and served on a 3-tiered stand to indulge the self-proclaimed royal in you. The first tier has sandwiches—roasted beef and smoked salmon; the second has Hopetoun’s signature petit fours; and the third has assorted seasonal fruit. And, you have the tea and scones to complement this.

Location:
The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

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