Though we've visited several times, it seems that we haven't blogged about CERES since a flurry of three posts in 2008! We stopped by the rambling outdoor cafe for a Saturday breakfast before raiding their market produce, organic groceries and nursery, and we figured it was time for an update.
To be honest, it doesn't seem as if the menu has changed a lot since they introduced the Indonesian eggs. It's organic-focused and hippy-ish: free-range eggs and sourdough toast comes with hummus, beans or beetroot relish, there's quinoa in the salad and the display case is full of muffins. Vegan and gluten-free options are well-marked and abundant.
CERES cafe does seem to have streamlined their ordering system a little. Now we queue to place our orders rather than hoping desperately to catch the interest of staff from the haphazardly arranged tables. Our food and hot drinks were prepared and delivered promptly and the staff looked less harried, even adding a smile or dropping a darlin' along the way.
Michael went back for the vegan adaptation of the Indonesian eggs ($15.60), a deceptively filling plate of brown rice piled with a herb-heavy salad, soy-marinated smoked tofu and a generous side of sambal.
I tried the equally vegan-friendly pumpkin, tofu and miso roll with a side of salad and tomato kasundi ($10.20). The filling was a little bland but the kasundi set it right, and I was mightily relieved to get flaky golden pastry and not the cardboardy stuff of some other co-op cafes. CERES also get top marks for a lightly dressed green leaf side salad full of sunflower and sesame seeds.
The only challenge of counter ordering is resisting the sweet treats on display. I was compelled to queue again for a vegan doughnut ($4.50) and final drink (soy flat white for Michael, $3.80, and dandelion latte for me, $4.50). The doughnut must've been sourdough-based, which worked well with the raw sugar crust.
CERES cafe is a lovely spot on a summer day with reliable, veg-friendly food; all the better if you have children and/or dogs in tow!
You can also read about one, two, three of our previous visits to CERES cafe. Since then veg blogs Green Gourmet Giraffe, Vegematarian and In The Mood For Noodles have posted nice things about it, although CERES mistakenly served coeliac K glutenous toast.
Elsewhere there's been positive feedback on little eats, juganaut's foodie thoughts, Melbourne Cafes Photo Blog, Milk, Chai & Honey, TOT: HOT OR NOT, Purple Party People, The Hungry Grub, Melbourne Mum and adventures of the ordinary. Reviews are more mixed on Globe Troffer and 8ITES.
8 Lee St, Brunswick East
veg breakfasts $5.70-15.60
Accessibility: The cafe is open air and very spacious. Access to the medium-height counter is via half a dozen steps or a narrow and uneven path. We grabbed menus, ordered and paid at the counter, then our food was brought out to us. We haven't visited the toilets, though Johanna GGG reported that they're composting!