A brand new year has begun and one of my goals is to start visiting the list of cafes that I’ve been building up in the back of my mind on the “must do” list. I can’t remember where I had read about the small cafe/milk bar in Bendigo Street in Richmond/Burnley that was open for weekend breakfast, but it was always somewhere where I wanted to visit and I figured that if I was to do anything of purpose on the weekend, then that was my intended destination.
Resolutely, I set off on Saturday morning and negotiated the two trams I needed to take to get to Bendigo Street. I can’t describe the exhilaration I always feel when the sun is shining, I’m exploring new neighbourhoods with tree-lined streets, anticipating my first hot skinny latte and finally visiting a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Intrigued by the renovated workers cottages and the new urban development under construction in Bendigo Street, I finally spied the quaint milk bar on the corner, market umbrellas and tables outside ready for patrons.
Walking into Bendigo Street Milk Bar is like stepping into another world – tranquil with soft jazz playing on the iPod, a myriad of tables, soft furnishings and old-world charm, newspapers for sale, a counter and display fridge laden with homemade food, another room on the mezzanine level with more tables and chairs – it was almost a feast for the eyes. I think it was just fortuitous that being January, I could still walk in and take my pick of tables.
Because it is January and some of the staff were taking leave, the breakfast menu had been reduced to a single page, but despite only several dishes to choose from, the corn fritters with avocado salsa, rocket and poached eggs seemed to be the most obvious choice.
I gather from all the social media involving this cafe that the homemade corn fritters are the dish du jour and it’s obvious why. Beautifully presented, stunning colours and a generous dish, I was deliriously happy to be its next victim! After taking several photos, my first mouthful of corn fritter was heavenly – an unusual red colour (I almost wondered if Thai red curry paste was the secret ingredient!), with red capsicum and bright yellow corn kernels – well cooked and not mushy which seems to be the offering of some of the most recent places that I have been to lately. My eggs were poached exactly as I like them and requested, sitting of a bed of chunky homemade avocado salsa, and rocket glistening in olive oil. Almost a complete surprise was the goats cheese dispersed within the dish, which was soft and creamy and extremely delicious, but a definite must although it is not included in the meal description.
Although I waited a good ten minutes for my first coffee to appear and there were only 4 other customers in view, you know when you are in a special-kind-of-place when you are compelled to whip out the iPhone at lightning speed and try to Shazam the jazzed up version of Crowded House playing seductively in the background (Curtis Stigers’ rendition of “Into Temptation” if you are intrigued) and all is forgiven.
My only concern that now distresses me is that if it has taken me so long to get here, how soon can I come back?