The typical Melbourne cafe is usually filled to the brim with people on weekend mornings, filled with chatter, clinking of coffee cups and cutlery, the hissing of the espresso machines, with the aroma of coffee, eggs and bacon in the air.
In short, the typical Melbourne cafe is loud and full of energy. Well, Beatrix is not quite like that, and that I think, forms the most part of its charm.
I first came across Beatrix while following this blogger. I thought it was unusual that this cafe didn’t offer the usual brunch treats of poached/baked eggs, smoked salmon, the full brekky etc. But anyway, this blogger, Sarah raved about the cakes and although cakes are not the first thing that come to my mind when it comes to brunch fare, they looked pretty good. Also, the food seemed decent, so why not?
So one fine Saturday morning, I got my 2 partners-in-crime, Ms Slim & Ms CC to venture out into North Melbourne in search of this cafe. When we got to the street, we would have never guessed that it would house such a popular cafe – it was so quiet! That immediately defied all notions of the usual crowded Melbourne cafe that can be spotted streets away…
I read reviews that the cafe was small but we were shocked to see how tiny it really was – I think it could only sit up to 11 people? The cafe, of course, was full, and we were asked if we could wait outside for a seat. The cake display did look beautiful, as what I had seen on the blogs, but then we spied the menu on the wall and we were a little taken aback to see only 3 choices of ciabattas. I asked the waitress if there was a menu we could browse through while waiting and she said it was all up on the wall.
At this stage, honestly, I was getting abit nervous of my choice and all did not seem very promising – did I just choose a sleepy little cafe that is not quite in tune with the Melbourne brunch scene? Where was the extensive menu of eggs/bacon/salmon to choose from? Where is the buzz of waiters going from table to table, and the traffic of people coming in and out of the cafe? And, where… is… my… coffee???
Yes, after 20 minutes of waiting, I was seriously getting really grumpy. I’m the type of person who can’t do without her morning coffee! The girls quickly realised my morning grumpiness and urged me to order a coffee first, as well as a slice of the delectable red velvet cake on display, all ready to be eaten.
So even though that’s not quite my idea of starting a brunch, the wait was getting to me and so I gave in to their suggestion.
So yes, that’s what we did – we started with cake first for breakfast, and while in queue! Now, how’s that for an atypical Melbourne brunch experience??
And the moment we sank our teeth into the first bite of cake, ahhhh, all the morning grumpiness just melted away. It was so soft, fluffy and not oversweet. The texture of the cream cheese icing was smooth with the chocolate malt balls giving little crunchy pops along the way. It was a beautiful slice of a cake and I realised what the rave was all about – it was the best red velvet cake I’ve ever tasted.
Things started to look up the moment the cake arrived because after a mere few bites of the cake, we were told that there were seats inside for us – hurrah!
So we scrambled in and almost immediately, our coffees were served.
And that, was the best latte that I’ve ever had. It was smooth, creamy and had a full-bodied taste. Every sip was so smooth and the girls agreed that the coffee was top-notch.
Shortly after, our ciabattas arrived!
The ciabattas were wonderful. The bread wasn’t too hard and the ingredients were all fresh. I personally preferred the one with mushrooms but Ms Slim is not a big fan of goat’s cheese so she was more inclined towards the other one. Ms CC liked them both I think!
Despite the initial hiccups, we liked Beatrix so much that Ms Slim and I went back there again. And we made sure to get there a little earlier!
The latte blew us away again and nothing impresses me more than a place that makes consistently good coffees!
We saw that the apple pie was on special and couldn’t resist ordering it.
And yes, we started with dessert again! What is it about Beatrix that cultivates your sweet tooth?
The pastry was homemade as well and it was wonderful. The apples inside were all cinnamony and warm, and went well with the vanilla bean ice cream. I really liked the ice cream as you can really taste the vanilla bean in it. The ingredients were definitely of top quality!
We ordered a ciabatta to share. The menu for ciabattas, though limited, changes from day to day, which pretty much keeps you on your toes!
The flavours were fresh but abit too intense for us, as the parsley, raw onion, cheese and the saltiness of the corned beef seem to overpower each other. We found it quite heavy as well, so we actually struggled to finish it. My favourite ciabatta is still the one with the mushrooms!
And we couldn’t resist ordering a slice of red velvet to take away for Ms CC and she was delighted when we whipped out the box in front of her. Such is the draw of the Beatrix Red Velvet!
And such is the allure of Beatrix. It certainly stands firm on its homecooked goodness and rustic appeal, and what seems like a sleepy little cafe is a real charmer, delighting you with her sweet treats, beautiful coffees and an exciting menu that is always being updated. Remember to check its Facebook page for the most updated menu!