After checking out the Reverence Hotel on Wednesday night, we returned to the west the following morning for breakfast at Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea (no relation). As you might guess, they take their brewed beverages quite seriously with espressos and pour-overs, single origins, guest roasters and three tiers of tea prepared in temperature-controlled conditions.
There's also a breakfast and lunch menu. The condensed summer version starts with design-your-own eggs and sides, then there's a couple of fancied-up avocado on toast dishes and on the sweeter side, muesli, banana bread and French toast. The menu promises that the kitchen "will endeavour to accommodate your dietary requirements" but they reserve their right to "politely refuse menu changes". There's surcharged gluten-free bread and one guaranteed vegan option on inquiry - on this day it was the corn cakes (which contained gluten).
Michael's poached eggs ($9) came with an inch-thick unwieldy piece of toast, mushrooms (+$3) and beans (+$4). While these were OK, the presentation and vibrancy of flavour didn't match what he's come to expect from Melbourne brunch scene.
I fared better with the brioche French toast ($15). It was thick and eggy - almost custardy - teamed with slightly-too-firm nectarine slices, a scoop of ricotta and a glug of caramel sauce.
Our meals were pleasant if not memorable but we score the cafe higher on atmosphere. It's simple and spacious and to our eye, accessible. The staff were cheery and helpful and patient; we didn't feel hurried along at any stage. That's surely the best way to meditate over one of their specialty brews.
The first blog account of Reverence, on A Spotted Blog, is mixed but they seem to have shaken any early issues and have earned praise since from Let's Get Fat Together, I'm So Hungree, foodsmiths.com.au, MRWP, Footscray Food Blog, off the spork, Melbourne Cafes Photo Blog, Enlightened Bacon, new international students, All About Food and Brunch Addict.
Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea
155 Union Road, Ascot Vale
veg breakfasts $6-16
Accessibility: This cafe has a flat entry and spacious interior. We ordered at our table and paid at a low-ish counter. We didn't visit the toilets.