Could there be a more Melbourne place than The Vertue of the Coffee Drink? Hidden away down an alleyway that you get to through a petrol station off Lygon Street this is one cafe that certainly can’t rely on passing foot traffic.
Once inside the door the cafe opens up into a cavernous light filled space. Timber lined walls give a feeling of warmth and in pride of place is The Vertue of the Coffee Drink’s own roastery.
As you might have guessed from the name and the in house roastery this is a cafe which takes its coffee seriously (very Melbourne). Order a latte here and it comes made from The Vertue of the Coffee Drink’s own Sabertooth house blend. It’s light with a smooth caramel finish and delivers the requisite caffeine buzz.
The food is also on point. If you go, you absolutely must order the coffee cured salmon ($22). It’s so beautifully presented it looks like a piece of contemporary art. A fillet of salmon is scattered with slivers of colourful beetroot, topped with two crumbed poached eggs and a slice of the most delicious goats curd marshmallow just caramelised on top. Heaven on a plate.
While more virtuous (see what I did there?) the Bircher muesli ($16) didn’t have quite the same wow factor although there was a good balance of creamy yoghurt and crisp apple.
Just as I headed out the door a Melbourne bike tour group wandered in – that’s how Melbourne this place is, it’s even becoming a tourist attraction in its own right!
Details: The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, 8 Raffa place, Carlton.