When I heard that my barista friend Cheng Hsien was heading to a new café, Lafayette in Port Melbourne, I just had to check it out. Not only was it an excuse to visit somewhere new, but it meant I could enjoy one of Cheng Hsien’s incredible coffees. Back when I worked at Naughty Boy café in Carlton, I used to live on Cheng Hsien’s coffee, often tallying up to five a day. Cheng Hsien’s one of those super cool baristas that remembers everyone’s order so that their coffee can be with them before they’ve finished queuing. However, I’m one of those annoying customers who orders a different coffee EVERY single time – life’s more fun if you spice things up.
Anyway, back to Lafayette which is a new coffee shop located on the foreshore in Port Melbourne. A stones throw away from the water’s edge, the space is bright and modern with floor to ceiling glass windows providing glorious beach-side views. The atmosphere is relaxed, with a handful of people working away despite the wifi not being up and running yet. I too found it a great space to work so jumped on my iPad to tell you all about it. I was even tempted to grab a cold beer but it was early afternoon and I’ve already enjoyed too many alcoholic beverages, thanks to Brent.
Instead I opted for a soy chai, a favourite of mine which I don’t often have as sometimes it can be disguised as fresh, but is actually from a packet I could have easily have picked up in Coles. I won’t go mentioning names but I’ve seen this happen in a number of establishments I’ve previously worked at, back in my waitressing days. Cheng Hsien advised me that Lafayette’s chai is fresh and proper and it sure was. It came served in a cute saucepan with drainer to ensure my cup remained leaf-free.
I couldn’t help but pick up a pistachio & raspberry cake because it was Thursday, which is practically the weekend and I can’t write about food without eating cake. That’s just the harsh reality of what I do, someone has to! The cake from Little Bertha was to DIE for. I’ve had so many disappointing cakes in my life and it’s just SO nice when I find a good one, it took me a whole 90 minutes to eat this one because I didn’t want it to end. The sponge was moist with a slight nuttiness and the handful of raspberries provided just enough sharpness to offset the sweetness of the smooth creamy icing.
As I was off to check out new restaurant, The Two Badgers in St Kilda, I wasn’t able to have anything too substantial, which is unfortunate as there are a few things on the menu that caught my eye. The all-day brunch menu features a selection of Asian-style dishes like the grilled pork in a pair of soft burger buns with purple onion, leek, continental cucumber, celery, lettuce and coriander, rich in home-made Cha Sui sauce. There’s also the usual Aussie brunch suspects like seasonal avocado smashed with sea salt and lime on sourdough.
There’s a lovely little quote at the bottom of the menu which reads “there’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them” – Jo Walton. I couldn’t agree more with this, after spending two months on a desert island where sunrise and sunset were the focal points of my day. Lafayette do have plans to extend their opening hours for sunset in the near future as they offer a selection of cracking cocktails like ‘coconut apple fireball’ and ‘Frangelico sunrise’. In fact, there isn’t one cocktail I wouldn’t happily sip whilst watching the waves hit the sand out front.
I love nothing more than coming across a new coffee shop with great food, drink, friendly staff and a good vibe to work in. I’m pretty high on life right now, sat here overlooking the great Pacific Ocean whilst enjoying a small glass of filter coffee brewed using Geisha beans from Guatamala – the best kind, any coffee addict will know.
I bet you didn’t think you’d ever see a picture of toilet roll on this food blog? This quirky colourful roll is another example of some of the little things that make Lafayette so good. I’m a sucker for quality hand cream too! I really was impressed with Lafayette and not just because Cheng Hsien is on the coffee machine – although that helps, of course!
Living like, loving Lafayette,