Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Premises

I had a conversation with an interesting person recently about the change in the way coffee in Melbourne tastes.  No, I'm not talking about instant versus espresso but rather the coffee flavour and the milk consistency have undergone some sort of slow mutation.  I remember when I first started drinking coffee, a latte was $2 and would often come with a serviette origami-d around it, I guess to protect your hand because it was so hot.  Now in trendy cafes, the coffee is barely lukewarm and the milk has a silky consistency so there is almost no distinction between the froth and the coffee at the bottom of the glass - kind of like a coffee milkshake, as this person correctly opined.

Sapa Premises C Red 030

The actual taste of the beans varies from the classic "espresso" taste of Genovese or other big name brands to very unusual flavours from the micro-roasters.  The Premises in Kensington is very much this newer style of coffee.

Sapa Premises C Red 028

I love the space - two shops have evidently been joined so that The Premises has two street frontages, hugging the florist on the corner.  The aesthetic is gorgeous with old wood, school-type chairs, lots of open space and light.  The staff are all lovely - no 'tude here.

Sapa Premises C Red 031

Delicious, perfectly made coffee using Seven Seeds.  The beans have a strange, almost smoky flavour though.  It's almost like you can taste the oils on the beans.  It's not unpleasant but gives the coffee another dimension.

Sapa Premises C Red 032

And what of latte art?  We used to love Flavours of Lakhoum in Richmond where the barista would draw women's faces in the froth, sometimes apparently trying to resemble the drinker.  It seems a bit naff now but it was so sweet at the time.

Sapa Premises C Red 033

A good ole bacon and egg roll, this one with homemade BBQ sauce.  It was enormous, football-shaped and half was plenty for an adult.

Sapa Premises C Red 034

Free range egg with "Newmarket bacon" (not sure what butcher or supplier this is?) - the bacon was sensational, really smoky and meaty.  I do wish the roll was toasted, though, as there was a lot of bread and some textural variation would have been nice.

Sapa Premises C Red 035

I wish I could give you a spiel about how "I always choose the bacon and egg roll/caesar salad/spring rolls to give me a benchmark of how good a place is", but I can't.  Sometimes you just want what you want.

More great local coffee at the original "best cafe" in Kensington, Fruits of Passion.  Their food is a bit stuck in the 00's but the coffee (Vittoria) is unreal.

The Premises
202 Bellair Street, Kensington (map)
Phone:  9376 7565
Closed Mondays


  1. Loving the clean lines and wood inside - looks like a beautiful space. And you're right about wanting what you want - although I couldn't imagine wanting anything other than that bacon and egg roll - looks soooooo good!!!

  2. The Premises has shaken up cosy and coy Kensington's cafe strip, especially on weekends when it is packed with hipsters and the like.

    The Newmarket bacon is a reference to Newmarket, the area to the west of Newmarket (Flemington) station.

    I am pretty sure it comes from the butcher on Racecourse Road run by Mario and Charlie. While there are two butchers on Racecourse Road, the other is Halal and does not sell bacon. Mario and Charlie run an old school butchery and make their own sausages, bacon and ham. They also have a side line in some Maltese treats. Patrick

  3. Mmmm seven seeds blend? I'm so there!

    Haha my coffee journey has evolved from a condensed milk laden Kopi Peng (iced coffee) at Sg kopitiams, to the flat whites of today's trendy cafes. Will I end up downing Espressos in the near future? *gasp*

    Mmm love the classic bacon and eggs brunch option, yours looked yummy. Onto my wishlist it goes! :D

  4. I had poached eggs with a side of Haloumi there a few weeks ago. Very very good. Makes you think is there anything that Haloumi doesn't go with?

    Other great breakfast options in Kensington (both on Racecourse rd): Verb cafe, and Kitchen - the baked eggs there are particularly awesome, served with two crunchy daggers of turkish bread.

    Oh yeah, and the Kebab place on Racecourse next to the ANZ (forget the name) does some of the best kebabs in town, as well as killer Turkish pizzas. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

  5. Paul, I am glad you mention the kebab place on Racecourse Road. I don't know their name - I call them "the boys" because its run by two cheeky Turkish brothers.

    I prefer their sit in dishes to the kebabs. The decor ain't pretty and the entertainment is Turkish TV but the plates - especially with the skewers of chicken and lamb - are piled high with salads and dips and come with a basket of bread. I used to delight in exercising really hard at Fitness Kick and then filling up from "the boys". Patrick

  6. I went there last week and tried the pulled pork, served with spiced apple and coleslaw... It's the stuff that food dreams are made of....

  7. I didn't get to try out this place (due to some pretty rude service) from one of the front of house staff before we even sat down! I've heard some good things but friends have also mentioned issues with the service.

    I'm still willing to give it another go but still a little tainted from the experience when there are so many other great cafes to try out.

  8. Oh "the boys" sound unreal! Thanks Paul and Patrick. Got to stop by Mario and Charlie's too. The bacon was pretty awesome.

    Thanks for all your comments - I think they are a winner. Adrian, sorry to hear about bad service! Give them another shot, I reckon. I have been a number of times for coffee and never had an issue.

  9. Ah, I love Seven Seeds - a nice addition to what already looks like a bright and beautiful space. And that sandwich! My heart beats for oozy egg and bacon sandwiches.

  10. Love that your blog is concentrating on one area, and sounds like you become an expert (walking melway with FOOD) LOL. Great post, and will keep coming back to read ALL OF IT!

    Thanks for the all the great found in the area.


  11. Ahh I can't believe I'd forgotten that origami serviette! Brings back memories of first year, coffee during the lecture break from the pizza shop on campus. Scalding hot! Scorched grounds, drinkable only with two sugars.

    I've only been to the Premises once but they did a smoker kipper on white bean mash special and my partner had a pulled pork baguette. It was damn good!

  12. The Premises is our weekly go to place for coffee. :)

  13. We are going there i the morning because of this review! Keep up the good work!

    From the Happy Footscray Coffee lovers
    Ash & John Carr

  14. me and my sister come here for brekky at least once a week - the trick is to not go on the weekend, the staff always treat us amazingly! its gotten to the point where we can say "the usual":
    strong flat white, Bircher Muesli. gotta try it!
    i've had almost everything on the menu and now i'm getting all flustered because i'm thinking of going back in the morning!


I love getting your comments! They're what make blogging worthwhile. Unfortunately, the amount of spam I get is obscene and it is so tiresome to have to moderate every comment, so I have had to turn on annoying word verification. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but please know how much I love you having your say!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails