There seems to be a bit of a herding instinct for good Melbourne cafes. There are some lone wolfs where you see one standing by itself, the only decent café in the area, but good cafes often gather into herds like in some great African migration. As a place where great cafes now go to feed and mate to the great savannahs of Brunswick and Fitzroy I think you’d now have to add the grasslands of West/North Melbourne, home of some of the best and cutest cafes in Melbourne. One of the most recent additions to this herd is Roller Door.
Roller Door is a small café tucked away in an obscure street near the North Melbourne train station. Unlike many Melbourne cafes where the industrial hipster vibe feels like a bit of a put on these guys felt like the real deal. Not too cool for school or for friendly service, they were enthusiastic and seemed keen to make everyone’s day. In fact, one or two of them reminded me a little of puppies, playful and bouncy if maybe a little ditsy so that I was willing to forgive almost being shorted $10 on my change.
As well as the tiny counter area I also liked the courtyard out the back a lot. It’s a little small and could use a bit more greenery but with all the nearby tree lined streets the rainbow lorikeets managed to keep up a consistent chatter in the background and it felt very self contained and cosy.
There is a bit of a formula for good inner city café food in Melbourne. First of all, don’t get too ambitious for the size of your kitchen. If your kitchen is small, a few poached eggs and muesli type dishes will do. Secondly, there are a number of very good bakeries around Melbourne, use them for your bready products. Thirdly, fresh ingredients, fresh ingredients, fresh ingredients. And lastly, poach your eggs right. Roller Door appears to have learnt and followed these rules well. I found the food to be very competent versions of typical Melbourne café dishes. My poached eggs and smoked salmon came with nice fresh avocado and a pleasant slight sourness from the cabbage in the coleslaw.
Most importantly though, the eggs were perfectly poached. There be liquid gold in them there treasure chests!
Second breakfast was the rustic eggs, with the same free range poached eggs, garlic butter roasted mushrooms, capers, broccolini, torn basil and goats feta on sour dough. Again eggs perfectly poached, with creamy feta, strong earthy flavours and enough garlic that I didn’t need to be worried about vampires for the rest of the day.
Breakfast dessert options are a little limited but did include a dark chocolate and berry muffin. Served warmed it was packed full of berry and chocolaty goodness to finish of the meal.
Just a great little café. This is becoming a spot where everyone can find a favourite place, whether the nostalgic Grigons & Orr, the polished Auction Rooms, the cute as a button Beatrix or the chilled Roller Door. Amd that’s not even including my personal favourite Fandango!
Food – 8
Ambience – 8
Service – 7.5
Price – 7
13 Stawell Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
Tel: 0449 208 681