I remember when Slowpoke first opened, but while I’d been past it many times before I’d never stepped inside to sample its wares. It's always looked kind of cute from the outside though, and for a cafe to survive its first year in the ultra-competitive strip that is Brunswick Road it has to have something good going for it. It's also come very highly recommended via The Age’s Cheap Eats Guide (now Good Food for Under $30), so when asked for a suggestion at the city end of Brunswick Road my task was pretty straightforward, Slowpoke it was.
For a cafe that seems so simple Slowpoke does have a lot going for it. The use of the wooden feature wall lends the cafe a friendly warmth that is different to the more common share house chic often found in the area. Staff are very friendly, the cafe bright and well lit and the menu not overly long or complicated.
And once I saw the menu it was pretty obvious what both Snooze and I were going to order. The menu included one of Snooze’s favourite breakfasts, smashed avocado and feta, in this case with the unusual addition of chilli to spice things up a bit. Now this is not my favourite style of Melbourne breakfast, too many overly heavy feta and avocado mashes have seen to that. However, we both thought this was up there in the best we've tried. The feta was of good quality (Meredith I think?), light and creamy and complemented the avocado perfectly. Any possible hint of heaviness was cut through by the accompanying chilli, which was spicy enough to satisfy me but not too hot for Snooze.
My choice, a corn fritters with coriander fritters, with tahini yoghurt and coleslaw on a Turkish roll. While the notion of the Turkish roll seemed a little strange, Slowpoke had me at corn and coriander fritters. When it arrived it looked a little different than I was expecting, smaller and more compact. First bite too it came across as a little dry and disappointing, but with each bite I took the dish started to win me over. It wasn’t the texture, which I continued to find a little dry, but the nice combination of flavours (corn and coriander is a definite winner) which won me over.
Just a very nice cafe in a part of Brunswick Street that until a couple of years ago was a bit lacking in them. Good food which had a couple of twists compared to the more usual cafe fare, it's one of those places where it doesn’t feel like staff are just going through the paces but care about their cafe.
Food – 8.5
Ambience – 8
Service – 8
Price – 7
157 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel (03) 9942 7813