Search This Blog

Loading...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Code Black Coffee

April 13, 2013


We've had our eye on Code Black Coffee for a while. It's Brunswick's newest specialty coffee place, part roastery and coffee temple and part slick brunch place. They've turned a couple of old warehouses into a Melbourne-cafe-by-numbers space, with all minimalist industrial stylings. It's effective though - the high ceilings give everything a sense of space, while the concrete makes sure you don't forget you're basically sitting in a warehouse. It's a massive place, so even turning up at brunch peak-hour (1ish on a Saturday) didn't cause us any problems (which isn't to say that they weren't busy - there are just loads and loads of tables).


The menu looks fantastic - full of imagination and variety while still being recognisably brunchy. Even more impressively, they clearly mark vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options and cater well for everyone's dietary needs (there are three vegan dishes, plus a further ten vegetarian options). I'm tempted by the quinoa, pumpkin and fennel salad (vegan, $15.90) and the artichoke and zucchini fritters ($16.90), but eventually decide I need to try the baked tofu.

The dish (baked silken tofu with a parsley and lemon crumb, roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts and sourdough, $17.90) is a clever shot at giving vegans their very own version of baked eggs.


It's not a bad effort either - the crunchy top has a good strong flavour, and the steaming tofu underneath is smooth and creamy. Sadly though, tofu on its own is a bit lacking in flavour - I was imagining a bigger bowl, with tomato and spinach kind of dotted throughout, which I think would work better. As it was, I built little flavour-combo towers on the toast, getting excellent mouthfuls of the sides along with the tofu. This made the single slice of toast even more disappointing - if you're going to serve toast with breakfast, serve two pieces. It's just common sense.

Cindy weighed up her sweet options, wavering over the house made crumpets with raspberry and cinnamon poached pears and orange ricotta ($16.90) and the vegan breakfast couscous ($13.90) before completely switching things up and ordering something savoury.

It's hard to resist something dubbed 'Australia's Best Toasted Sandwich' or just its ingredient list - grilled multigrain, polenta cake with cheese centre, truffle mushrooms, fried egg and mustard cress ($19).


First up: this was in no way a toasted sandwich. It wasn't even a sandwich - for starters there was only one piece of bread. Category error aside, this seemed like a pretty good dish to me - the bread was slathered with some sort of fancy mayo, the mushrooms (which I snuck a bit of) were wonderful, and the crispy polenta square oozed a kind of molten cheesy goodness from its centre. Cindy enjoyed most of the components but found the whole thing a bit too hefty - it's hard to see the point of both toast and a giant polenta square here. Still, she chomped her way through the whole thing, so she wasn't too overwhelmed.

I decided to investigate the sweets cabinet purely in the name of blog research. Sadly, while they have a good range of gf sweets, all their cakey treats are non-vegan. I was a bit surprised they didn't offer something given the efforts they've gone to on the rest of the menu. Anyway, having had the whole conversation with the staff member, I felt compelled to order something.


We wound up with a polenta/raspberry cake (~$4) and a Persian love cake (~$4), both of which were excellent (if completely unnecessary).

Code Black Coffee are bound to be popular - they've got a stylish venue, make fantastic coffee and serve up pretty reasonable food. The service is lovely and efficient and the whole experience is pretty pleasant. The main downside is the pricing - Code Black join a few other newish places (St Ali in particular springs to mind) in pushing the expected price for a brunch meal up towards $20. There's definitely more going on here than standard poached eggs or pancakes, but one of the things we've always loved about Melbourne has been the affordability of excellent breakfasts (other locals like Hungry Birds and New Day Rising are keeping the sub-$15 breakfast dream alive, but it's slowly disappearing). On the other hand, it's lovely to see more and more cafes coming up with imaginative and interesting vegan options (see also: Wide Open Road, East Elevation) - it's not just avo on toast anymore!
____________

There's been a steady stream of positive reviews for Code Black so far - check out Food Made With Love, Coffee Cherries, marrsinmelbourne, peach-water, Vetti: Live in Northcote and The City Lane.

____________

Code Black Coffee
15-17 Weston Street, Brunswick
0402 532 578
Breakfast $6-$19, lunch $12.90-$15.90
http://www.codeblackcoffee.com.au/ (for all the good it will do you - how hard would it be to stick some trading hours and a menu on there?).

Accessibility: Excellent. Flat entryway, spacious interior and a fully accessible, unisex toilet in addition to standard gendered toilets. There's full table service.

10 comments:

  1. Dessert is never unnecessary. Fact.

    ReplyDelete
  2. the sandwich actually won last years best toasted sandwich.. what awards I dont know.. but yeah. .thats the reason...

    ReplyDelete
  3. ps I hate Wide Opens menu now.. so this is all thats left for me.. that and Tom Phat is good again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We haven't been to WOR since the most recent menu change - I was hoping they might have switched it up again after the vegan backlash. Have you tried East Elevation? Breakfast tempeh! Or is Lygon Street too far East?

      Delete
    2. *snorts* its funny cause its true.

      yes lygon st is generally too far for me... hell I basically 'exist' in the square of grantham st x brunswick rd x sydney rd x glenlyon. but if I'm ever in the wilds of east brunswick will definitely give it a go thanks for the tip! x

      Delete
  4. Double fried eggs on grilled toast is something I can die for. I have been to Melbourne for couple of days, there we ( my friends and business partners) enjoyed black coffee and snacks a lot. I'll never forget those golden days.

    Regards,
    Finn Felton

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ooh, thanks for the write up guys. Look forward to trying this place out :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. After talking to you and Carla on the weekend I tried this today and really enjoyed it - and I asked about the cakes and was told there was a chocolate mud cake that was vegan. Will write about it at some stage but wondering about going back before I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johanna - I'm glad this worked out for you! Full credit to Carla for thinking of it. I'm thrilled to hear that there's now something vegan-friendly in the cake cabinet too. :-)

      Delete