Friday, June 14, 2013

New cafe love - Form and Grandpa Joe


A couple of new cafes for your westside brunching pleasure.  Introducing Form - a gorgeous space that opened in west Essendon last December, barely a stone's throw from the Brunswick border.


Coffee is by Campos and it is excellent.  The guys behind Form have a connection to Ray's in Brunswick, which by my memory at least was one of Melbourne's first "very Melbourne" cafes (no obvious name, kinda hidden, great coffee, all that good stuff).


The food is also standout.  The menu has a gentle Scottish lilt, what with "tatties" and a cheese n' onion square.  Somewhat controversially, it's served on paper plates.  Apparently an environmental costing was done and it was more energy efficient/sustainable etc to buy and recycle these than wash plates.


All plates and food scraps go to the local school or community centre for their garden.  I'm not sure what I think of this - I'm sure it does save water in the long run as they claim but it still feels counter-intuitive to this hippy chick.  Anyway, there wouldn't have been much of this gorgeous, not-too-sweet brioche with ricotta, honey and pistachios to wash up after I was done with it.


Not far away in Ascot Vale, Grandpa Joe has just opened and it seems this senior cit is a pretty cool customer.


There's a good range of coffee choices, with a choice of Five Senses or a single origin coming through a shiny silver Synesso, plus aeropress or cold drip filter brews.


I enjoyed this vegetable piadina, stuffed with goats cheese, rocket and roast veg.


My friend pronounced his pumpkin and honey soup quite fine - not mindblowing but nice all the same.


Go have a roam around Union Road when you're done - there's a great greengrocer a few doors down (The Happy Apple) and a proper butcher (Ascot Vale Meat Supply - great rump steaks).  The Brotherhood op shop up on Maribyrnong Road is always good for a rummage.  Last time I was there (a while ago now), they had loads of pseudo-baroque furniture.  Turns out it had come from Tuppence Moran's house!

Form Cafe on Urbanspoon

Grandpa Joe on Urbanspoon

Form Cafe (Facebook)
32 Albion St, Essendon
Phone: 9375 3232

Grandpa Joe (Facebook)
197 Union Road, Ascot Vale
Phone: 9078 0595


  1. I love the sustainable plates concept!!

  2. Sorry but this is so very un-footscray and so wannabe brunswick st circa 1988 - yawn. Mostly I love your blog ... Marian

    1. 1988? You must have been at some cooler places than me. Sorry it didn't float your boat!

  3. west Essendon is a long way away from this part of the world!


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