The Premises

202 Bellair St
Kensington, VIC 3031
03 9376 7565

Fakegf has well and truly earned her namesake, we’re hanging out soo often now! Our visits to The Premises revolved around my work lunch hour and fakegf would come to my workplace just so we can brunch! Yes, we both have been totally bitten by the brunch bug. And it is surprising how much relaxation, coffee and food enjoyment can be squeezed into an hour. I really should do this more.

I’d only heard of this place through Lauren, who really enjoyed her caffé latte and good ol’ egg and bacon roll here. Once I found out that they use Seven Seeds coffees here, I had to visit. The most memorable cup of coffee I’ve ever had in Melbourne was drunk at 7seeds, although my most recent visit  wasn’t as amazing. But the beans can only do so much, if the barista is good, we can go walk the heavens together. OMG, I wish I could marry a barista, imagine orgasmic coffees every morning!
I’d also like to announce that I now have a mini baristabooo set-up at home. A good conical burr grinder, correct sized frothing jug, milk thermometer, heavy tamper, good fresh beans and a mediocre-but-good-enough espresso machine. While I still can’t for the life of me froth milk correctly to be able to weave foam art, nor can I mimic the strength of a magic, my homemade coffees are now delicious enough to not put me in a bad mood. This means if a café makes a cup of coffee that I can do better at home, they F.A.I.L.
The Premises has a homely warehouse-slash-apothecary feel, with communal tables, glass cabinets and old school desks and chairs. I actually really liked the space, it was edgy but not intimidating. In fact, it felt warm. And it’s got two street entrances coming in at right angles, allowing for lots of natural light.
The Premises Espresso Blend by Seven Seeds $3.50ea
Flat White and Skinny Magic
The house blend coffees here has a distinctive woody dimension to it. With sugar added, it tasted like a delicious milk chocolate with hints of caramel, almost like a mocha. Quite nice, and very 7seeds… smooth, light, mellow and chocolatey. Fakegf’s skinny magic tasted stronger, assertive and yet there was something floral in the air around it. She liked it.
Hot Salt Beef Roll $13.50
w/ provolone cheese, hot English mustard and pickled red cabbage
Loved the colours in fakegf’s dish. Yummy beef, tart pickled cabbage, head-clearing mustard, and good melted cheese. The strong flavours here were balanced nicely and fakegf pretty much enjoyed it. Speaking of our fakegf / fakebf relationship, I made a horrid booboo that visit. I was so caught up taking pictures then that I absentmindedly poured water for myself and forgot to pour water for her! Bad bad fakebf!
Russian Egg Salad $15.50
and smoked salmon served w/ toasted ciabatta and a dill pickle

So… *koff* all I’d written down for this dish was “my breakfast was nice”. That was about two month ago and I now can’t remember how it tasted like. But I remember it’s a simple, easily assembled can-be-made-at-home type of dish. But still, it was a well thought-out dish and the component ingredients were good. Actually, once a dish has a zesty or pickly facet to it, I’d normally enjoy it.

Here’s the coffees we had on visit two. With fakegf’s skinny magic on the left, she basically told me “yeah, it’s good… nice lor…”. Ha ha!
I had a Single Origin Ethiopian Sidamo OCR (small batch) Magic, pictured right. That’s a lot of gobbledegook for just a cup of coffee and you must think I’m such a farken snob. But I’m really trying to see if there’s any difference between a single origin cup and a house blend cup. I’ve learnt to ask the waitress or the barista whether their single origin works well with milk. While all house blends are shaped to work well with and without milk, single origin coffees has a more specific character profile and may sometime only taste good without milk, as an espresso, which I won’t order.
With this cup, the geek barista told me the beans were naturally processed and that the flavours can go quite wild. On first sip, I tasted very summery floral notes, and yet it also felt rich bodied with an interesting astringency. Really nice, and for a fleeting moment, I was taken to another place… I could almost taste arid/native desert plants, and caught the slightest whiff of wattle flowers and jasmine. Wow. No sugars needed. Methinks it’s time to explore single origins more in future…
On a side note, geek barista suggested there may be strawberry hints in that Ethiopian blend. Sadly, I still can never taste that elusive strawberry note. *nudge nudge I-Hua* :p
Poached Free range Eggs on organic toast $8.50
w/ Tomato and Chickpea Ragout $4.00
Fakegf created this combination from the menu and, to put it simply, it was good…
Slow Roasted Pulled Pork $16.00
w/ pickled fennel, spiced roasted apple and a dill pickle
I love the culinary use of the word “pulled” with meat dishes but never really understood what it meant. But I think it’s basically a meat that’s slow cooked till it’s fork tender and then pulled apart into luscious pieces.
This pulled pork dish was very nice and resonates very well with me as a brunch dish. Light, bright and refreshing. There was a truly zesty pickled fennel salad that’s cleverly spiced with coriander seeds and red peppercorns. Even the spiced baked apple was slightly pickly. I didn’t find it too difficult assembling everything onto my piece of bread.
I’m always a lot more congenial towards a brunch place if the coffees are good, and here, they’re great. There’s a zesty, spicy slant to the menu and they don’t seem to go heavy with any creamy and rich sauces here, I like that. Some of the dishes may be quite simple, but they’re made well, unpretentious and priced reasonably. I will be coming back.
View Melbourne Food Story in a larger map
 The Premises on Urbanspoon