There’s something about Melbourne cafe’s located in the suburbs. A charm that can’t be achieved in the inner-city. Case and point, Collective Espresso (located next to Camberwell Train Station) A trendy brunch spot with food that’s in keeping with Melbourne’s prestigious cafe scene along with an understated charm of a suburban cafe.
The entrance brings us to old Victorian times where vintage signage shines and typographic floor tiling that reads ‘meet me here’ along with a cute little corner seat that would barely fit two people but makes for the perfect Instagram photo.
Once you walk through the cafe admiring the flashy La Marzocco coffee machine, the place won’t feel so ‘vintage.’ A large communal table takes prominence amongst modern custom crafted bar stools made of timber and metal painted a glossy khaki that brings the perfect balance of modernity to the the minimalist interior. The walls feature beautiful artwork, which is nothing new to cafés, but reinforces that sense of community.
Now the most important element, and the reason why you’re all reading this, the food. It's a collective menu that has the classics as well as trendy new wave dishes.
Classics such as eggs benedict is taken up a notch with a crispy chipotle and pork hash and the corn and zucchini fritters also shine brighter than the norm, with the addition of whipped goats cheese and kaffir and lemongrass tomato chutney. Another go-to is the herb crusted mushroom that comes on an English muffin, with lashings of porcini pesto and truffle oil, all of the textures and aromas.
The açai bowl. A breakfast dish that has often sat in the ’too healthy’ or ‘that won’t fill me up’ section for some. If you’re going to try one, start at Collective Espresso and you won't regret it. It’s a feast on the eyes as well as a delicious clean-eating, feel-good breakfast.
For those who still rebel against the clean-eating movement, the fried chicken burger with wasabi mayo may be right up your alley. For those in-between, the vegetarian chickpea, quinoa and potato burger comes in a matcha bun that will make your friends with green with food envy.
This gem in the burbs has certainly got locals and non-locals talking. One for the list.