155 Bay St

Port Melbourne, VIC 3207

03 9078 5776

Café on a wet Wednesday.

I often have Wednesday brunches with Marc, who works nearby. We have been systematically checking out the joints in Port Melbourne, with nice food and a good catch up as an incidental by-product. Seven:am is 5 minutes walk from my home. It had the aura of a decent coffee/brunch place. So we walked in.

Port Melbourne, as a whole, has some time to go before it finds its niche and settles into its own skin. Right now, I see new invading the old. Factories are being torn down. Apartments are sprouting like mushrooms. Yuppies are moving in. New residents must feel like ‘migrants’, pulled out from an established suburb and now living in this developing one. I glance at my silent neighbours whilst standing in the lift and still wonder whether I fit into this community at all.

Seven:am’s fit-out has a typical ‘Port Melbourne’ feel to it. Modern-rustic, new mixed with old, uncertain. Despite this café’s intention to catch the rugged charm of joints along Brunswick St in Fitzroy, there still lingers a gawkish, newish feel here. As if the place hasn’t fully discovered and established its identity. I do like how they’ve converted a door frame into a table though. Also, the waitress was full of smiles and the Wednesday lack of crowd was very suitable for a cosy catch-up session.

I shouldn’t comment too much on the coffee or food. I’m still recovering from the flu and got a partially blocked nose. I like good coffee, but haven’t trained my taste buds enough to discern the subtleties in flavour from cup to cup. Put a blocked nose on top of that and you’d might as well serve me instant, ha ha. 

So here’s my ‘restrained’ coffee comment: My flat white was served not as hot as I’d like it to be. But I found it quite enjoyable, with just a mention that it could be slightly stronger. Delicious creamy milk! Pretty latte art too.

As for my brunch dish, I ordered “the ocean & earth”: house cured ocean trout, watercress salad, beetroot & asparagus, topped with poached eggs & finished with dukka

Actually, it was quite an intelligently thought out dish. The oceanic flavour of the trout went along well with the light earthiness of watercress. The watercress was a little stemmy though, and I think the beetroot came from a can. The eggs were poached well and the toast pieces, thankfully, weren’t heavily greased up with butter. The subtle little bursts of sesame seed and spice in the dukka gave surprising turns to each mouthful. That decorative dribble of balsamic vinegar glaze was quite nice too.

Good coffee and sincere food. The interior was a little awkward but I liked the quietness. I will probably come back again, maybe on a weekend, with a less blocked nose! Hopefully that future weekend brunch will still be as civilised as today’s.

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