The best thing ever: Uncle Drew

Scotch eggs at Uncle Drew

The (almost!) equivalent of winning the lottery, getting a bank error in your favour or making the tram after you run to get on it has happened to me.  My local cafe has reopened with new owners, a new name, a new look and a brilliant new menu.  What was Squirrel tucked away in a Clifton Hill back street is now Uncle Drew and I couldn’t be happier. 

Scotch eggs at Uncle Drew
Scotch egg with vegie chips at Uncle Drew 

The cafe doesn’t look too radically different.  It’s a bit slicker with dangling light bulbs and pops of aqua from the (surprisingly comfortable) vintage metal chairs dotted around the space. The front room is dominated by a big communal table while there’s more seating out the back and on the pavement outside for warmer weather. 

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The real shakeup is in terms of the menu which is now filled with the sort of things that I love to eat.  It’s innovative and creative cafe food.  Think scotch eggs, spicy BBQ pulled pork and brioche French toast.  They’ve also got some great suppliers on board – from the Istra bacon to the delicious and decadent Butterbing cookies.  

Baked eggs at Uncle Drew
Baked eggs at Uncle Drew

Every dish I’ve tried so far has been spot on.  The baked eggs ($17) are a little Winter bowl of comfort – sitting on top of a jumble of slow cooked peppers, chorizo and tomatoes.  Uncle Drew’s take on Melbourne’s ubiquitous “avo smash” ($17) turns things up a notch with the inclusion of goats cheese, oozing poached eggs and blood orange vincotto.  It’s also worth checking the specials which change weekly – if the scotch egg with vegie chips is on there then you’re onto a winner. 

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Uncle Drew serves Dukes Coffee

Coffee is by Dukes ($3.80)  – made expertly with a gleaming La Marzocco machine. It’s consistently good – clean, smooth and just the right amount of caffeine to jump start your day.  Service is smiling and cheerful – you can tell this is a labour of love for the owners.  All the rest of the locals are just as happy as me about Uncle Drew opening up but this cafe is really good enough that it’s worth seeking out even if you don’t live around the corner. 

Avo smash Uncle Drew style
Avo smash Uncle Drew style

Essentials
Details: Uncle Drew, 23 Groom Street, Clifton Hill (Ph 9489 2077) 
Damage: Reasonable
Kids: Welcome. There’s high chairs, a kid’s menu and a selection of kids books to keep the little ones entertained. 
9/10
Uncle Drew Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 comments

  1. Yeh! I agree. Not a local but have been to Uncle Drew half a dozen times and the food has been consistently good. The Dukes coffee is made by a barista who knows his business and who cares about the product. If it’s not made to a high standard, it is binned! Well done Uncle Drew.

    1. Yes the barista is excellent – makes all the difference!

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