594 queensberry st, north melbourne
ph: (03) 9329 0298
“A cafe that speaks for itself. An excellent addition to the North Melbourne scene.”
Visiting a cafe isn’t only about the food and coffee, but also about the environment that it is served in. The look, style, design and of course the service. Good food tastes better when all these elements work with each other. I don’t go out to just eat and drink, I go for the whole experience.
Twenty & Six Espresso is a relatively new cafe in North Melbourne that opened late last year but has quickly become a favourite amongst locals and Melbourne Uni students who trek the 10-15 minute walk down Queensberry St. Who can blame them when the cafe has such character and personality!
The cafe maintains its Retro exterior look and keeps things simple, nice and cosy on the interior. Simple but unique! They make use of bottles as vases, milk crates as decorations and storage and also have drawings of a boy throwing a paper plane that goes from one wall to another (I found myself following it from one side to another, only to cop a funny look from people on the communal table )
Interior: Communal table with some couple tables on the RHS. There’s also a courtyard at the back
The iconic milk crates and the paper aeroplane!
To fight the cold weather, F ordered a lovely hot chocolate which had nice creaminess and richness without being to thick. Drinking it felt quite homely . I ordered the Seven Seeds pour-over to sip on. This was to be my second hit for the day since I had a latte with my dad even earlier in the morning, ha!
Seven Seeds: Burundi Kiryama – “Delicate notes of lime and ginger”
The lime was easy to pick up but the ginger less so. The pour over was probably a little bit too ‘impure’ and not enough filtering.
I enjoyed reading through the menu which was quite unique from the names to the combination of ingredients. Some dishes have ‘foresty’ names such as: The goat and the bee, the hunter, the traveller, whilst others like ‘the Hulk’ and ‘Power-house Muesli’ certainly draw some second looks.
The Hulk - smashed avocado with lemon, chilli and mint. meredith Goat’s fetta, house cured salmon gravalax, salsa verde on sourdough
Plating is one of the chef’s fortes, with dishes looking crazy, interesting yet reflective of the name bestowed upon them. The Hulk stands tall and green with a wig of sprouts and an angry fist of salmon gravlax.
The Hunter – balsamic roasted portobello mushrooms, spicy spanish chorizo on sourdouh, finished with creme fraiche and truffle oil.
This was my first choice, initially, but I let F take it and we decided to share the two dishes – this ended up being a very good idea. We loved both the dishes, but mainly because we had portions of each. In terms of flavour and texture, the Hulk was an excellent avocado smash – the fetta added a nice creaminess and occasional hint of mint and chilli was a welcome addition. The salmon gravlax was an appropriate protein and i love dill, so no problems there. But unless you’re an absolute avocado lover and a monster, this would be quite hard to down, being quite rich!
The Hunter was much harsher on the palate, with sourness from the mushroom and saltiness from chorizo. The cheese was a good idea to try and offset the strong flavours but were ultimately overpowered. We liked it, but like the Hulk, would be very difficult to finish by yourself without reaching for a cup of water/coffee/tea to wash the flavours down. Then again, you’re definitely getting value for the price you pay.
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Rating: 8.5 / 10
dishes (in appropriate amounts)
Don’t get me wrong, the coffee wasn’t bad – but it just could’ve been better. And aside from a few pointers about the dishes, I genuinely love the cafe and have been recommending it to many people (along with Beatrix down the road)! So give it a whirl, if you’re bored & hungry at uni or willing to make a bit of a trip from the CBD.