Form Cafe | Code Black Coffee
32 Albion St
Essendon, VIC 3040
03 9375 3232
I caught up with Lauren from Footscray Food Blog here one quiet Tuesday morning, she suggested the place. These days with brunching, I feel as if I’m going blindfolded. I don’t know about half of the cafés that my friends are recommending! The list of new places continues to be inexhaustible.
It’s a cosy, good-looking new player in Essendon’s brunch scene with a clean aesthetic. White walls, white tables, white bricks, imparting a bright and breezy feel.
One thing to note, unless they’ve changed things since our visit in April, you don’t automatically get water on arrival. So either ask for some, or just help yourself to a jug from the counter.
I was quite skeptical reading (on Urbanspoon) how Form Café serves the ‘best coffee around’. Everyone tends to say that about their local café and I’ve learnt to depend on my own taste buds. However this time, much to Lauren’s relief, I have to agree that they do serve delicious coffee here! Smooth, rich and chocolatey. The beans are sourced from Campos Coffee.
Cute how newspapers are hung from coat hangers. The menu is pretty streamlined, with a touch of Scottish influence with the way they name the dishes.
Sam’s Doing – brioche w/ ricotta honey & pistachios $10
Here’s what Lauren had. I must say it looked really handsome and irresistible. It’s a gently sweet offering counterpointed with a bit of savoury from the ricotta, a pairing that I’d probably like very much.
You may also wonder here why they’re serving their food on disposable-looking plates. The beautiful reality is – they’re actually compostable plates. By doing so, hundreds of litres of water is saved each day from washing, contributing to environmental sustainability.
Trout Full – smoked ocean trout tatties poached eggs beetroot remolade & fish roe $17
Because the handwritten men did not have commas between ingredients, I thought I was going to get smoked ocean trout fritters – ‘tatties’ being a Scottish way of calling potatoes. But to my delight, what arrived was a dish that HAD commas between its ingredients.
Bright, clean, fresh and delicious. It was a simple but perfect dish that satisfied me completely. The potatoes were incredibly tasty and it was interesting to have a sprinkle of salmon roe in the mix.
It was a very nice catch-up session with Lauren as usual. As I snapped a few more shots before leaving, she joked that maybe we should start a separate blog where I’d take care of the photos while she covers the writing (like our joint-effort Royal Mail Hotel post).
Haha… that’s a thought!
Code Black Coffee
Let’s now travel to Brunswick for our next café. I caught up with Fakegf (The Hangry Bitch) and partner (aka The Angmoh) here.
This café, by comparison, is a sleek and more up-scale enterprise than what Form Café is like. And instead of whites, everything here was black, black, black!
Single origin piccolo $4.30 (Bolivia)
There’s a strong focus on coffee here, with an on-site roastery, impressive coffee machines and a wall shelf full of coffee-related merchandise.
My companions had the seasonal blend coffee as a piccolo and magic, which were well made but tasted on the strong side. My single origin piccolo also packed a punch, reminiscent of old-school coffees, but with a bit more nuance.
Huon smoked salmon, potato aioli, fried capers & heirloom tomatoes w crisp bread 17.9
+ poached egg $3ea
The Angmoh chose a very pleasant brunch dish, he really liked the smoked salmon in particular. I sneaked a taste and agreed, I didn’t know Huon Aquaculture smoked their salmon so nicely.
AUSTRALIA’S BEST TOASTED SANDWICH 2012!
Grilled multigrain, polenta cake w cheese centre, truffle mushroom, fried egg, mustard cress 19
Fakegf once again chose an excellent dish, it did not read that excitingly to me from the menu (‘toasted sandwich’ just sounds so boring), but what arrived tasted magnificent. The aroma of truffles was so good… I had brunch envy.
Artichoke & zucchini fritters w peas, poached egg, mint & preserved lemon 16.9
+ chorizo $3
I’ve been trying to be a bit more adventurous with my brunch choices lately. You know… shake things up a bit. A risky endeavour, but with occasional rewards. But for the past few weeks, I seemed to be choosing not that great dishes each time I brunched with Fakegf.
The components sounded interesting on the menu, and the fritters were smooth. But I just did not warm to this dish, and the option on the menu to add chorizo (which I did go for) did not make that much sense taste-wise.
The menu is interesting in Code Black and my companions had pretty good tasting dishes, I’m glad we visited. Next time, I’ll choose a less adventurous dish which I know I’ll enjoy.
This ends my black & white-themed brunch post… hehe so cheesy. In the next brunch series, I’ll be covering two new cafes in Fitzroy.