A'Beckett Street is a bit of a hidden treasure for interested foodies. Not only does it have a large store selling imported Italian style foodstuffs, since the completion of a towering apartment block on the street it has developed some interesting student style cafes for the nearby RMIT hordes.
The only one of these we have sampled is Darac, but I'd find it hard to believe that the others could be any better. Not because they looked bad, and we do plan to go back to try them, but just because Darac punched quite a long way above its weight. How good was it? Well, impressive enough to pass the Bureaucrat fussy dad test, somewhere she is going to bring Mr Strong to try.
From the outside it doesn't look much though. Kind of hidden away and non descript.
Inside though is nice, lots of mellow browns and exposed brick, but also with lots of little knick-knacks scattered around to give it personality. You can watch and hear the staff cooking out the back - for me it's exactly what a Melbourne industrial style café should look like. I particularly liked the giant deer head over the bar, ethically done with no deer harmed in the making of this café.
The food is good and plentiful, particularly given the price. In addition to the typical bibimbaps they also have combination lunches where you choose from a variety of entrees and mains to go with a small amount of salad and either rice or noodles. Bureaucrat's choice of the chicken teriyaki with gyoza salad came with tender chicken in a fairly sweet sauce, salad rendered slightly tangy by the dressing and passable gyoza.
My beef bulgogi was tasty but a little chewy, the takoyaki small but soft and sweet. Both lunches looked great on the plate and were excellent value at under $10
But the thing I liked most was the service. It was polite and efficient, but most of it all it was very friendly. There was such as chorus of goodbyes as we left the café that I was convinced they were about to break into a 'farewell, we will miss you come back soon' song and dance!
Excellent value for money and just a great place for a quick, cheap, tasty meal.
Food - 7.5
Service - 8.5
Ambience - 8
Price - 8
51 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9662 2441