Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Min Lokal, Fitzroy by Big Fil

I don't know if it was a once off thing, a day when the staff just got it right, but our visit to Min Lokal was one of our most enjoyable Melbourne Café visits of the last two years.

The day got off to a bad start though. After missing the Johnston street turnoff and driving half way around Fitzroy to avoid the one way streets we also got the opening time wrong which left us with thirty minutes to kill on a windy and miserably cold morning. Even worse, not realising just how cold it was I left my jacket in the car when we went for a walk to check out nearby laneways for street art.

From the outside Min Lokal is unprepossessing. Inside though it's very cute and cosy. With a couple of group or communal sized tables, a few plants and assorted quirky decorations on the walls, I thought it had a real homey feel, a warm and comfortable place to just sit back and relax. I also liked the 1950's lounge style jazz music playing in the background at a good volume for listening without being so loud as to interfere with conversations.

The menu is written on boards behind the front counter, and an interesting menu it is too. Blessed with a few things that looked like things we would want to try we settled on the Smoked Salmon Tian and the Dooba.

At first I was a little disappointed when my Smoked Salmon Tian hit the table. With its poached eggs, smashed avocado, asparagus and parsnip rosti it looked good but wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was the parsnip rosti which had intrigued me and I expected something a little more substantial than the thin, crisp version I got. However, after a couple of mouthfuls my disappointment melted away. The crisp rosti added texture to the softer asparagus and avocado, and the eggs had an unusual but nice texture, somehow almost fluffy.

Snooze's Dooba was a more substantial dish--North African spiced pumpkin, minced beef, roquette, baked eggs and toast--looked, smelt and tasted great. Rich, meaty, spicy (but not chilli hot), filling, to me everything a baked eggs dish should be. It was proclaimed by both of us as good as (if not better than) any baked egg dish we've tried in the last twelve months.

To finish breakfast on a sweet note there is a small range of cakes behind the counter. Consistent with the main breakfasts our chocolate and walnut brownie was very good, with strong chocolate flavours, moist and dense without being overly heavy.

Great food and a really pleasant place to eat. While the staff and most of customers were obviously on a first name basis we were made to feel welcome by both. The café was moderately busy and food took a little while to come out, but given the obvious care taken with it absolutely no complaints. After all, if I am in that much of a hurry there are always the Danishes at Babkas around the corner. Can't wait to go back and just hope the second visit is as good.

Food - 8.5
Service - 8
Ambience - 8
Price - 7

422 George Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel: (03) 9417 0333

Min Lokal on Urbanspoon

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