114 Berkeley Street, Carlton
Telephone 03 9347 8664
Everyone likes the coffee here. Everyone.
And everyone talks about it as well. Everyone.
But I am such a dork that I don't really drink coffee. And blasphemously, I can't really tell the difference between a Starbucks and a...hmm, Seven Seeds I suppose.
However, because this place is so very close to the hallowed halls of the law school (and so very vogue now) I have lunch here almost every week. Plus it's the only logical option once you've had just about enough of Indonesian tummy-fillers and the greasy Chinese in the other direction.
So what do I like?
Surprise, surprise the carrot cupcake. This is my new favourite place to get it, because it's less sweet, has actual cream cheese frosting and the quality never varies - unlike The Cupcake Bakery, which, contrary to my previous testimonial, has been dry and stale(!) the last four times I've had it. In the space of a week. Not good enough!
So the Seven Seeds cupcake wins. Even though it's smaller and comes with a $0.50 extra on the price tag ($4.00 each for all the baked goodies).
The chocolate cupcake is really lovely as well, though no pictures because I scoffed it down too quickly. And I love the lime syrup friand, which is always moist and deliciously sour. Interestingly, all the pastry/cakey goodies here are from Dench, which means they're exactly the same as the ones in Auction Rooms. Except they're priced at $4.50 there. I've also had the mandarin and polenta cake and I have to say I did not like it all. There was a bit too much mandarin rind in the mix I think, which made it slightly bitter, and I don't think I'm too fond of the polenta texture either.
As for the savouries, I've had the 'Egyptian Eye' - Beautiful toast obviously, big with lots of chewy wheat bits, and I wish I'd gotten an extra egg to go with it. Came with an interesting chutney-like sauce. I'm not sure the sauce necessarily went with the sandwich, but it was definitely a change (and not an unpleasant one) from the usual sideshows (hollandaise, smashed avocado, etc.). I wish Seven Seeds had more egg options - this is the only one.
Anyway, like I said, Seven Seeds has that same warehouse utility-chic look sported by all the cool cats these days, and hence, was an ideal and hip place to meet up with BFF J for lunch.
J is a coffee-drinker but not one for words. "Strong...I like it." I suppose that's as good an endorsement as any!
We had the veggo toastie option - mushrooms, fontina cheese, and pine nuts ($9.50). I thought this sounded really exciting on the menu, but to be honest, it's a bit bland until you mix the salad in with your mouthful, which I think adds a bit of acidity to the bite. The mushrooms were as lovely and picquant as they should be, and the cheese nicely melted with a fair pungence. The texture of the bread was as amazing as usual - J suggested we visit Dench Bakers soon to pay homage to its origins - and I totally agree!
So, Seven Seeds. Welcome addition to the Melbourne café scene, and definitely a welcome addition to the desert of eateries in this area.