This is a two-visit post that shows how a café evolves over the seasons to suit its customer needs. My first visit, early on when they opened, was so so. I visited again in Spring and liked it more.
I first came here with Fakegf in mid-winter. We’d reached that food-fussy stage where we’d been exploring too many cafés, and just not hitting the sweet spot of having both good coffee and food.
I then told her that even though Common Galaxia was newly opened, they’re run by brunch veterans in the industry and should know how to conduct a seamless brunch service. Let us, for once, go somewhere where we know we will be satisfied.
Seven Seeds Latte 3.8
Guest Blend Piccolo – Single Origin (fr Proud Mary) 4.3
Common Galaxia is the ‘beloved child’ from the people behind Dead Man Espresso in South Melbourne, a favourite brunch hangout of mine.
I’ll start by affirming that I have no complaints about the coffees here, they’re as consistently good as Dead Man’s. Smooth, fresh, and nuanced. Although, I’ve always noticed myself wishing my piccolos were just a touch stronger.
Baked Eggs 16.5
Wild mushroom duxelles, L’Artisan Fermier, walnut skordala & watercres puree
Fakegf had a rather fascinating baked eggs dish. One that’s rife with minced mushrooms, baked cheese rind and other warming, grounded winter ingredients. It was earthy and good, but possibly just a touch too creative and obscure.
Oven baked zucchini fritters w house cured citrus & juniper berry salmon, green tea smoked egg & lemon spiced creme fraiche 18.5
Pretty as it was, I didn’t really warm to my chosen dish either. The fritters were oddly both zesty-herby and yet also creamy-buttery. They tasted both mellow and lively, quite an unusual contrast. But there was something about its flavour that made me feel a little nauseous, although Fakegf really liked it.
As for the eggs, I wasn’t too fond of seeing a ring of green around the yolk, which suggests it’s overcooked (but that’s the way tea eggs are normally cooked!). All that said, I also could not detect hints of tea or smoked flavours in them.
So for this visit, Fakegf and I found the Scandinavian-themed menu on the experimental and abstruse side. Yes, it’s exciting, and I’m sure it’s thoughtfully put together and cooked by brilliant minds… but if you wanted a simple feed, you’d struggle with that menu.
All the dishes were also more lunchy than brunchy. For a café of such good repute, they were being a little too clever and I wasn’t sure what customer demographic they were trying to appeal to. All I wanted was to see poached eggs and scrambled eggs being offered on the menu.
Yes… I can be a bit boring… but some of the best things in life are the simple things, no? =)
A blog post is nornally just a snapshot in time. But let’s deviate here by creating a second snapshot… three months later.
Rice Bubbles 4 | Babycino 2
This time, I brunched with Lauren and child… who was more than excited to see her rice bubbles so prettily presented in that wooden board and rustic bowl. Spring is in the air, and everything has brightened!
I’ll have to say Lauren’s a wonderful mother, she’s got such well-behaved kids! Makes me smile… watching them enjoy the ritual of milk-pouring, and the tackling of mini cups, spoon and saucer…
Poached eggs on Sourdough Kitchen pumpkin bread w avocado & bacon 18
Within three months, I found that the menu had changed to suit my ‘simpler’ needs perfectly. It now features familiar fare such as croissants, a brunch and eggs section, and a range of good sandwiches. They’d taken a step back, towards basics… but it’s basics done well, sourced thoughtfully, and combined interestingly.
To put it simply, boring as it looked, I enjoyed this brunch a lot more than three months before.
Loved the gentle sweetness of the pumpkin bread (from Sourdough Kitchen just down the road). Loved the bacon, avocado… and the poached eggs were soo delightfully gelatinous soft from its sous vide origins.
Istra prosciutto baked eggs w caramelised shallots, 3 cheeses, wilted greens & toast 16.5
For those who’d prefer something more adventurous, there still were dishes there to satisfy that need. Lauren’s baked eggs made delicious culinary sense. She was enamoured.
Pistachio brownie $4 | Piccolo 3.8
Filter coffee 4/4.5
Brunch travelled on… with shared sweets and more delicious coffees. On weekdays, this café is a very pleasant place to hang out, linger, and chat.
Lauren’s filter coffee was beautiful… with a gentle, fruity-sweet lift and no astringent undertones. We were not as excited by the brownie, which could’ve been more chocolatey, and it had the grainy crunch from sugar crystals inside.
But that didn’t matter, because the rest of the brownie was promptly and eagerly devoured by our lovely little companion!
BAM…!! No more!!
This is a beautiful space in a quiet suburb… a space with smooth, nuanced coffees and a (now good) balanced menu. Because the menu has evolved into something simpler, closer to the heart, and yet still fascinating, I’m more than happy to come back.