Matcha Mylkbar opened to a flurry of instagram attention a couple of years ago, at the forefront of the turmeric latte scene. Their fake eggs, charcoal buns and algae drinks struck me as gimmicky and offputting, so we didn't go to any effort to visit. Recently, the cafe turned up as a convenient spot for a late lunch and a score recount with our mate Lisa after a sweltering game of mini-golf.
The all-vegan menu was much more appealing than I'd initially expected. Yes, there are ten novelty lattes with the option of a flight of four, and five further matcha drinks. But plenty of the meals caught my eye and my appetite, from a summery acai bowl, to vege-filled bowls, burgers, and mac'n'cheese waffles (!).
Michael feasted on the big breakfast ($25) with turmeric scrambled tofu, two slices of sourdough toast, konjac bacon, potato and leek rosti, truffle roasted mushrooms, wilted kale and tomato relish. He rates it among the best vegan breakfasts around town.
At the last possible moment, I switched from a mac'n'cheese waffle order to the three piece feed ($22). This plate looks exactly like what you might expect from KFC next door! The house-made fried chicken isn't too dense (unlike its delicious but instantly regrettable Loving Hut analogue), and has a pleasantly seasoned crunchy batter. The crinkle-cut chips are crispy, the coleslaw is fine, and the tub of potatoes and gravy earned connoisseur Lisa's approval. I thought the portioning was perfect.
Finally, here's a shot of Lisa's mock poached egg. While the agar agar-set white is perhaps a bit too jellied, the gooey sweet potato centre looked just right.
The Matcha Mylkbar marketing has never been our style, but it turns out there's some great food to enjoy here regardless. I reckon we'll be popping back in next time we find ourselves in St Kilda.
Matcha Mylkbar has received rave reviews from veg*n bloggers, see Like A Vegan, messy veggies and A Thoughtful Vegan. Reviews on omni blogs are less effusive but generally positive, see String of Events, Tomato, Wandering Mint, Lips Temptations, Melbourne Breakfast Diary, krumbled, Short x Stout, delightfully tasty, Lifestyle by Lily and TOT: HOT OR NOT. There's a more mixed review on A Hedonist's Love and outright negative experiences on all-caps blogs DONUTSAM EATS & TRAVELS and 2WO FAT GIRLS.
72A Acland St, St Kilda
Accessibility: Entry is flat, but furniture is tightly packed inside. We ordered at our table and paid at a high counter. We didn't visit the toilets.