Carolina - East Brunswick
Date: Friday 1st June 2012
Address: 11 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick
Commentary : Sarah Andrew
This is a first venture for David Henderson and Melanie Hayes, who opened on Australia Day this year. We had the opportunity to see an incredibly rapid transition from building site without a garden in early January, to a trendy little café / bar offering breakfast and lunch, plus later a liquor licence to serve boutique wine, beer & cider with light food accompaniments.
In the warmer months the garden, surrounded by recycled timber, concrete and brick is the place to be. Plants adorn every garden bed and a lovely sandpit in the back corner is a bonus for young ones. Ample shade cloths, tables and chairs make this a venue to know about if you want to be outdoors. There is a back entrance off a laneway too for those of you cycling or with prams and needing somewhere to park your two (or three) wheels.
History is retained however as this used to be Italian shoemakers ‘Invicta’ and the name has been retained on the front glass window. Trinkets and objects allude to this history giving a unique touch to the venue.
The French-influenced menu is very well priced and offers something a little different from your standard breakfast and lunch fare. Coffee is supplied by Seven Seeds and this venue is now one of my ‘go to’ destinations when I need a coffee (fortunately I have enough clients scattered geographically around Melbourne to keep me in good supply)! Breakfast and lunch are available Tuesday to Sunday and an evening bar menu runs Thursday to Sunday.
I dropped in for lunch a few weeks ago to catch up with some family visiting Melbourne for the day. We opted for a corner booth at the back of the café and settled in for what was a lovely few hours. I selected the slow cooked lamb with crispy polenta and green beans ($18) and was not disappointed. The meal was a decent size, cooked perfectly and served at the appropriate temperature. You may think me strange to mention temperature however in the past month I have been served on more than one occasion food that was either too hot (dangerously so) or tepid.
So now that I have sampled the lunch menu, I need to go back and see what breakfast is all about. I have it on good authority that I won’t be disappointed. At the time of writing this the opening hours are accurate, however the owners have been responding to local demand and therefore have made a few changes over the past six months. Whilst this may cause a little frustration short-term, I admire David and Melanie for trying to work with their clientele’s needs and geographical location. They seem eager to get it right and are not afraid to make changes for the better.
See you there some time! Cheers Sarah
Monday closed Tues-Wed 7.30am -5.00pm Thurs - Sun 7.30 am - 11pm