I have to say I love the fit out here. From the outside it looks like just another warehouse or light industry factory. In fact, with its lack of signage it wasn't until I got really close that I realised this grey painted building actually housed Seven Seeds. You step inside and it's ones of the nicest Melbourne industrial style cafes I've seen. It's bright and well lit, comfortable and not too crowded. Lots of exposed brickwork, interesting lights, a smallish communal table and a decent number of smaller tables (for when you don't feel like sharing). Combine that with smiling and friendly staff and my visit was off to a good start.
Although I don't drink coffee I did want to try the hot chocolate and the chai latte. I found both quite impressive. The chai was fragrant and the taste had some complexities from the spices used. The hot chocolate was dark and strong and loved the touch of a finger of Whittakers dark chocolate which slowly melted in the hot drink.
Unfortunately though, despite an extremely interesting looking menu I didn't think the food was up to the same high standard. This was particularly the case with the cured salmon, served with smoked yoghurt, zucchini and pine nut gremolata on toasted rye. I thought the flavour of the salmon was a bit flat and uninteresting and the texture of the pine nuts and bread crumbs didn't really complement the rest of the dish. I also felt the rye bread had been over toasted so it was a bit hard and difficult to cut.
Fortunately though the scrambled eggs with white miso, coriander and spring onion, crispy paratha roti, mild green chilli sambal was significantly better. The eggs were decently light and when mixed with the herbs and sambal packed a bit of flavour. Best part of the dish though was the crispy roti. With just a bit of crunch and a touch of oil, it added a good texture to the dish.
While the food was a little disappointing and consequently felt overpriced, I liked both my drinks and it was a fantastic place to sit and nurse a hot drink while reading the paper. The staff were friendly and fairly efficient in delivering menus and taking orders given that everyone seemed to walk in and just grab a seat. I can see it as a great place for friends visiting from interstate who want to sample that quintessential Melbourne coffee culture experience.
Food - 6.5
Ambience - 8.5
Service - 7.5
Price - 6.5
114 Berkeley Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Tel: (03) 9347 8664