Footscray, have we arrived? The Milking Station would fit in perfectly in any uber-groovy precinct of inner Melbourne, but these lovely folk chose to take up digs here. Nestled in a country-feel pocket of Footscray where the wide streets are lined with big, old trees, this brand-new neighbourhood cafe serves gorgeous coffee by Melbourne micro-roaster Padre.
This spot used to be the milking sheds for a local faming family. This past is recalled by silver milk pails and vintage glass pints of milk for water bottles. In the cabinet inside, big rosy red sausages twirl on their strings and hint at plans for a full deli range.
I love the coffee here - it's just luscious. They use a Slayer, which is a semi-manual machine that allows the barista more control over when the extraction begins. Water can be added to the group and the process thus paused for, say, 10 seconds before extraction starts. This allows the coffee to be soaked and therefore more flavours to be teased out.
Espresso, $3 (CROCKERY ENVY!!!!!)
It's a similar theory which underlies the Clever Dripper filter device that Besito use - it only starts draining when it's placed on the cup, thus ensuring all the ground coffee is thoroughly soaked for maximum flavour extraction.
Omelette with prosciutto, asparagus, tallegio cheese and toast, $15
A gorgeous omelette filled with oozing, bitey taleggio and asparagus wrapped in rich, savoury prosciutto. Digging the nannacore plates.
Eggs ($9) plus bacon ($4)
Simple eggs and bacon, the eggs popping open to reveal liquid golden yolks. Great bacon too, with a slightly smoky flavour and proper, dense meaty texture.
Panini and sandwiches are tempting, and there's a full lunch menu including a pulled pork sandwich that's winning lots of fans.
There's a well-thought out range of dry goods including wholegrain Pangkarra pasta made in South Australia and some Latin American tastes like salsas and mole sauce.
Out the back, the newly-renovated toilet block is part of the original dairy setup. The garden outside is the template for an inner-urban backyard, with pristine raised beds filled with herbs and big red strawberries that beg to be fossicked for.
Footscray Milking Station (Facebook)
35 Bunbury Street, Footscray
Phone: 9029 9240
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7am-3pm
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Opening tonight - local identity Rayna's solo exhibition, taking craft to a new, subversive level. From Incinerator Gallery: "Fahey is best known for reclaiming ugly industrial settings and transforming them through conscious craft love". I love her series through the chain fencing of vacant blocks around Maribyrnong, gently demanding of property speculators, "What else could go here?" Read more in Time Out and on her blog at radicalcrossstitch.com.