Continuing a theme that every Melbourne suburb within 20km of the city has at least one good or better modern style café, in a non-descript shopping strip down the Ormond end of North Road you have The Ormond Provedore. It's the sort of place that if you weren't local or didn't trawl through urbanspoon you'd almost certainly never ever hear about, and if you were just driving down North Road seeing it from the outside you'd probably keep on going. If you are in the area it's definitely worth a look, combining a green and sunny back courtyard with some pretty good food.
The back courtyard isn't the only place to eat. There's also a couple of tables out the front, monopolized by bike riders the times I visited, and some inside seating which always seemed to be packed out. For my money though it's through the door and out the back for one of the courtyard tables. It's only fairly small, and you can hear the low hum of the North Road traffic in the background, but sitting back it's an easy place to chill out and relax.
Admittedly the menu isn't as interesting as some of the prime Melbourne spots, but for a local place it does have some promising looking options. This includes a pretty good shakshuka eggs, baked eggs served in a pan with a spicy tomato ragu, labneh (a strained yoghurt with a texture like a very soft cheese), and buttered, toasted Turkish bread. Personally I thought this was one of the better shakshukas I've tried. The eggs avoided that curse of being overcooked, the tomato ragu was flavoursome rather than bland as it can be, the labneh added a pleasant creaminess to the dish, and the bread was nicely firm for scooping up everything from the pan.
The brioche French toast I didn't think was as good, with a couple of things putting me off. I did like the way it had a softer, slight eggy texture, but didn't like the use of labneh with the dish. Despite the use of honey and maple syrup I felt the slightly sour taste of the yoghurt wasn't such a great mix with the other sweet flavours. The fruit compote felt quite perfunctory as well, and I'd have preferred something a little more substantial and less liquid.
Much better than I'd expected before walking in. Looked ordinary but turned out to be a nice little local café. It's fairly close to home, walking distance anyway, and while it might not be the first place I'd think to go in the area those shakshuka eggs are well worth keeping in mind.
Food - 7.5
Ambience - 7.5
Service - 6.5
Price - 7
746 North Road
Ormond VIC 3204
Tel: (03) 9578 9922