Sunday, October 12, 2014

True North

True North is a welcome addition to a slightly moribund strip in Coburg. On a sunny Sunday lunchtime, there was just enough room for us to sit in a beautiful wooden booth; staff were friendly and welcoming and very indulgent of M's antics (which included lying prone on the floor, smack in everyone's way). Despite the fact that the clientele consisted mainly of Coburg twenty-somethings with tattoos and beards, the decor has a distinctly Gen-X feel (KISS dolls, A-Team books, Day of the Dead ephemera). The coffee was superlative and the food arrived quickly. My herby omelette in sourdough was tasty and D's Reuben tasted pretty damn delicious to me: cheesy, melty, and mouthwatering (and I don't even like Reubens). There's a sunny area out the back with tables and a deer mural; plenty of quirky details to keep up the visual interest; some great looking home made cakes and biscuits; and a squad of nice staff - definitely somewhere to come back to.

True North on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Merri Table

The Merri Table is at CERES, an environmental education organisation based on 4 acres of rehabilitated landfill in Brunswick. The cafe serves organic food based on low mileage principles and is housed inside a lovely, light and airy space in the main CERES group of buildings. There has been some imaginative use of wood and other recycled materials to create a relaxed and bright environment. There are some quirky touches: Heath Robinson style artwork that looks like a series of connected clocks but isn't; a section of the ceiling that curves like a hot air balloon; and greenery everywhere.

We ordered lunch on a quiet, slightly gloomy Monday. Staff were kind, but off-hand; although the smallest member of our party was boisterous, we never felt uncomfortable and there were plenty of kids around so it's certainly child-friendly. The food was hit and miss; although I enjoyed some beautiful juicy leg ham off the bone in a lovely soft roll with cheddar cheese, and M's kids' special toastie with ham and cheese contained the same ham and was served on delicious nutty rye bread, rather cutely served with popcorn on top, D's pho was underwhelming and seemed to lack sparkle - a bit like the service.

The plants in CERES' onsite nursery are always excellent and there are plenty of other features of CERES that make it worth a visit.

The Merri Table on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wild Timor Coffee

Wild Timor Coffee is very near the Post Office Hotel on Sydney Road and is a welcome addition to the area, judging by how busy it was on a cold Monday morning. It was established by four ex-soldiers who, while participating in a peace-keeping mission in East Timor, discovered that the coffee grown by the locals was being traded unfairly by middlemen who were taking a huge cut of the profits. Without having any cafe or coffee experience at all, they set up Wild Timor Coffee Co. to bring the coffee to Australia and ensure the farmers received a fair and equitable price for their product. The small-ish interior is nicely decorated with stripped-back brick and wooden shelves, giving it a cozy and welcoming feel, and staff are friendly. The coffee was excellent. I had muesli, which came in a jar with flavoursome thinly sliced strawberries, yogurt and an interestingly textured mix of seeds and grains drizzled with honey. D had the halloumi burger which packed a spicy punch and thankfully was not served in the ubiquitous soggy brioche roll; and our smallest diner had a tasty-looking cheese, ham and tomato toastie which he comprehensively deconstructed to extract the melted cheese and ham. To finish up, we eschewed the collection of excellent looking cakes for a delicious Portuguese egg tart each, which sadly did not last long enough at our table to be photographed, and came away with a bag of Wild Timor coffee beans to try at home. It's a delight to have cafes like this within walking distance and we will definitely be returning.

Wild Timor Coffee on Urbanspoon