Brim CC is a small café located in a non-descript section of Little Collins Street. Dispensing organic versions of some typical Japanese dishes, it offers cheap, quick and tasty selections in a section of town not generally regarded for its lunchtime options.
It’s also very popular for its small size. With its half dozen or so inside tables all being in use by just after 12 I ended up experiencing the dubious pleasures of al fresco dining in the middle a Melbourne winter without a nearby heater. Fortunately the sun was out and the wind wasn’t so it wasn’t too uncomfortable, but poorer weather would definitely make takeaway a good idea.
The most popular options seemed to be the soups and curries, with a large chunk of the front counter given over to several large pots for quick dispensing. Staff were polite and efficient, and despite the low tech ordering system (matching paper numbers) everything runs very smoothly.
First dish tried was the yakitori don, grilled chicken served with baby spinach on rice and with sesame seeds sprinkled over the top. A decent sized serving as a lunch option, it highlights one of the major reasons for eating at an organic café. Unlike your normal battery farmed hen it actually has flavour.
The Tokyo bento comes with three different rice balls, two of which are vegetarian and one meat, a beef and onion rissole with a sweet sauce, tofu and eggplant with a miso sauce and lightly pickled carrot with sesame seeds. Plus a potato salad. Served on a tray rather than in a box, the potato salad was tender and slightly creamy, the rissole tender and moist and the eggplant and tofu tender and slightly sweet. Contrast is provided by the rice balls, firm and with flavours added to the rice through the use of sesame seeds. Kind of like a Japanese version of meat with three veg (and a bit of rice), the flavours were earthy and almost home-cooked in style.
If you’re down this part of town Brim CC is well worth checking out. What I liked most about it was that from the food to the service it felt like it was definitely more substance than style. And with most lunchtime dishes around the $10 mark, somewhere that could be a regular lunchtime stop when you don’t feel like bringing something home and want something more substantial than a sandwich.
Food – 8
Service – 7.5
Ambience – 6
Price – 7.5
601 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel (03) 9614 5316