Distracted by Extraction

Hello food friends. I’m sorry I’ve been absent but I’ve been distracted by a little thing called Extraction Artisan Coffee. Apparently starting a roastery/cafe is the most difficult thing in the world, ha, who knew?

It’s all consuming on every level and to be honest my food adventures with the restaurant and cafe scene have dried up a little. I’m still cooking like a mad woman at home but available funds that used to go towards eating out are now being spent on local government charges to change the use of our building from ‘light industry’ to ‘food and beverage’ and state government charges to pay for our customers privilege to use the road outside our business!

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While I’ve been playing around with menu items for our small but perfectly formed menu, Alex has been playing with our first two pieces of equipment, a mini Proaster roaster (super cute and red) it roasts small samples of coffee beans primarily for cupping sessions and a Mahlkonig EK43 grinder.

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Speaking of which, we held our first cupping event just recently, after roasting some gorgeous micro lot Brazilian beans from 3Brothers. It was great to have so many of our friends and coffee professionals attend and enjoy the Extraction space (including Dragan Sesic, brother of World Barista Champion, Sasa Sesic).

Back to the food… Once I’m happy with the balance of items on our start up menu, I’ll post it for your feedback but in the meantime I’d love to know what’s your ‘must have’ on a cafe menu and do you approve of an all day menu?

If you’re interested in Extraction Artisan Coffee and want to follow our journey more closely please follow our Facebook page.

Until next time, drink good coffee 😀

Depot at West End

I love sitting in a cafe with loads of things to look at. Things that make you wonder why or things that just make you smile. Apart from great food and friendly service, Depot at West End has plenty to keep you amused.

Al and I visited with Mrs A for breakfast. The omelette with goat’s curd, mushroom, potato, fresh herbs and sourdough was huge and would easily satisfy two. The Croque Monsieur with rye, ham, Gruyere, mustard served with a garden salad was generous with filling and the toasted granola with coconut, pistachio, almond, dried fruit, fresh fruit, oats served with coconut yoghurt was healthy and tasty.

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I think Depot might be one of those places that has the ability to be many things to many people. Family friendly for breakfast, buzzing with the social lunch crowd and a magnet for all of the cool young creative types in the evening. It’s a great space.

Depot serves a seasonally inspired menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Monday – Tuesday, closed
Wednesday – Sunday, 7am – 12am

16 Horan St, West End

Twenty & Six Espresso

It’s tiny, but perfectly formed and it was packed to the rafters so you just know it’s going to be good. Luckily a brunch booking didn’t turn up so we were able to pull up a primary school wooden chair to a bench looking out the front window. Twenty & Six Espresso is clearly for people in the know. It’s subtle branding doesn’t give anything away, in fact, it would be easy to walk straight past.

They serve Proud Mary and Seven Seeds coffee along with a fantastic little breakfast/brunch/lunch menu. We started with a flat white which was well made and hit the spot on this chilly morning.

I was hungry after my flight from Brisbane so I chose ‘The Russian’ which was a vodka and lemon house-cured salmon tartare with poached egg, toasted sourdough and dill and lemon creme fraiche ($16.90). It was light and fresh and danced on the palate. A perfect start to the morning. Al opted for the ‘Take a Bao’, slow roasted pork belly, caramelised five spice reduction, crunchy Asian slaw and peanuts in a bao bun ($16.90). Several times, I got the serious, glint in the eye, ‘this is really, really good food’ look. My mouthful was indeed a winner.

Salmon tartare

Take a bao

Other menu items that caught my eye included the ‘Organic Balinese black sticky rice’ with mango, salted coconut cream and finished with palm sugar ($15.90). ‘The Hunter’, balsamic, red wine and rosemary roasted portobello mushrooms, Spanish chorizo on sourdough, creme fraiche and truffle oil ($18.90) and as a nod to childhood ‘Sourdough Soldiers’, two free range soft boiled eggs with soldiers, butter and vegemite ($9.90).

I wondered why I felt so at home in this little space and discovered the following on the Twenty & Six Espresso website “A lot of people ask us why we named this little place Twenty & Six Espresso… Originally, the idea of Twenty & Six was to provide young designers, including ourselves, a space to collaborate, network and be creative over a drink or some food, let’s call it caffeine aided design…The name simply fell together from a typographical reference; 26 letters in the alphabet, which are essentially a graphic designer’s greatest tool…”

Melbourne is full of great cafes but there is something seriously special about this place. Great coffee, great food, staff with a great attitude. We’ll be back!

594 Queensberry Street,
North Melbourne
(03) 9329 0298

Mon/Wed/Thu/Fri – 7:30am – 3:30pm
Sat/Sun – 8am – 3:30pm
Closed Tuesdays