Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea

155 Union Road
Ascot Vale, VIC 3032
03 9375 2170

Lachy initially told me how this café quietly opened it doors (without announcement) in early January. A week later, he told me he’d been there twice and it’s great. Aaa… time to visit!

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I got a little thick-skinned with my approach towards this visit. I basically publicly asked @ReverenceCoffee over twitter if they were “happy to have food bloggers visit? I’m thinking of bringing a small platoon of brunch addicts.” Reverence of course said “yes!” but admitted over twitter they were a little nervous about it. Haha.. I was imagining a new little café tremoring and biting its nails with anxiety. Cute! And how very silly of them to be nervous, the bunch I wanted to bring in are friendly bloggers. We generally want to make a place look pretty in pictures (with our admittedly scary big dSLRs) and say nice things about it.

With reference to my “small platoon”, I was really talking about us #fakephotographicsociety members, namely chairman I-Hua, Ashley, Allan and little ol’ me. We’d have brunches together, masquerading as members of a photographic society, taking lots of pictures all the way through our meal. Hahaha! (see previous #fakephotographicsociety posts on Truman Café and Komeyui) And don’t try guessing who came up with the idea of a “fake photographic society”, nobody would guess it’s me…

**double gunfinger**

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Turned out most of us were busy all of January, so only Ashley and I could squeeze this brunch visit in last Wednesday. I enjoy these brunch expeditions. You drive into suburbs and parts of Melbourne that you probably won’t ever visit otherwise.

Reverence Coffee had a different, more spartan and masculine fit out. Definitely not one of those industrial chic or plushly decorated ventures that we’re used to visiting. I struggle with describing venues, so I will let the pictures do the rest of the work. But I’d like to add that I love the school chairs!

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House blend carousel piccolo $3.8 (El Salvador, Honduras COE#14)

I started off with a beautifully smooth piccolo that held gentle, delicate hints of unfamiliar fruits and half-sweet flowers. I wished it was just a wee bit stronger, but still really enjoyed this cup. It almost had a calming effect rather than a perk-me-up punch.

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Single origin magic $3.8 (fr Guatemala Santa Clara)
background: masala chai $3.8 (already emptied by Ashley)

At this point, Annie stopped by our table to say hello to us. She’s the sister half of the sibling duo café owners. Annie was warm, down-to-earth, and visibly a little nervous. She described how they quietly opened their doors a few weeks ago, she spoke about her brother, and how the café slowly got put together.

Annie was also keen to have us try out the single origin bean, so she made me a magic on the house. When she brought it to the table, she bashfully said that the latte art wasn’t the nicest that she’s done. Looking at the picture above, I have no clue what she’s talking about, it’s sooo pretty! Tasting it, I thought the magic could be stronger, but it was still a smooth, sweet and very drinkable cup.

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House cured salmon, potato waffle with beetroot relish and a poached egg $16

Off the specials board, this was the one dish that had all the components I love. I chose this over the Kassler ham steak w fried duck egg, crispy potato, tomato relish on rye toast. Both dishes sounded amazing, but I always prefer my eggs poached or scrambled, and who can say no to beetroot relish anyway?

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This turned out to be a rather unusual brunch offering. The tender folds of cured salmon nurtured a lovely sweetness within its flesh. And pressing against the perfectly poached egg, lay a boldly sweet, almost jam-like beetroot relish. These elements, along with the warm waffles, gave me the illusion of eating a dish that was both brunch-like and dessert-like. An interesting counterpoint between sweet, savoury and light. I enjoyed it!

Haha… how’s that for trying to describe my dishes in a knowledgeable, articulate manner? :p Personally, I think it doesn’t hold my true (bumbly) voice. But let me say again, look at that beautiful poached egg!!

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Heirloom tomatoes w avocado, feta, basil on garlic & shallot toast $14

Ashley went light and refreshing that day with this summer offering of colours on toast. And as much as I’d like to regale you with further exquisite taste descriptions of this dish, I only had a curiosity nibble of the gluten free bread, which Ashley had swapped with the original garlic and shallot toast for an extra $2. It was nutty and cakey. Also, I forgot to quizz Ashley whether she liked this dish! I think she did…

I know I’m repeating myself, but I’m really glad I got to meet and befriend fellow bloggers in the past year. Our two common interests, food and blogging, makes conversation just so effortless! Initially, I worried whether we’d feel competitive amongst ourselves, but that was a silly thought. I’d much rather have these food buddies, who are sooo lovely to hang out with, than go the solo food-cowboy pathway. We have almost the same ‘wavelength’ with our approach towards food: first as photography subjects, and then as exciting taste discoveries.

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Valrhona hedgehog $4 / Costa Rica La Candelilla Geisha cold drip $5.0
Reserve range hong cha tea $4.5 / friand $3.8

So Ashley and I lingered for quite awhile longer in the café over sweets, teas and coffees. It never got crowded that Wednesday morning, so there was no pressure to give up our table and leave. I love brunching on weekdays.

From my Le Flaneur (Hawthorn) visit, I learnt that cold drips pair very well with sweet Western desserts. The geisha I had was rich and fruity with a medium astringency. I used to have problems tolerating the astringency within cold drips and other black brewing methods (siphon, filter / pour-over), but I’ve now started liking cold drips. Ashley had a red tea with our sweets, and I’ll leave the sweet descriptions to her (when she blogs about Reverence) because I can’t remember how they tasted!

Lovely brunch at a fresh new venue, with coffees that I’d cross suburbs for. They’re still getting on their feet with the café, on the day we brunched, we saw them carry in a brand new micro-roasting machine… how exciting!! And I hope Ashley and I didn’t come across as the pushy, entitled and ignorant little bastards that so many people think food bloggers are, hah! I wish Annie and her brother the best with their new ‘baby’. You’re far away from where I live, but I still hope to be back soon!

Read Ashley’s thoughts about her visit here.

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