A Lovely Place To Eat
January 10, 2012 2 Comments
538 Heidelberg Rd,
(03) 9482 2991
Mon – Sat: 8am – 4pm
Sun: 8am – 3pm
Coffee: 5 Senses, Single Origin, Filter Coffee
“Ac-ro-nym [noun] a word formed from the initial letters or group of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words.
It seems whatever the context or situation you find yourself in, the natural words and sayings are increasingly being abbreviated. It appears to be a huge effort to say or type full words. Acronyms are everywhere – at work (DIN- Do it now or FYI- For your information) in a social context (SG- Sports Girl) and even ‘middle-age man in lycra’ (MAMIL) is acceptable as part of regular conversations. The jury is out on whether overusing acronyms is destroying the English language or whether it should be considered as the evolution of it. Any way you look at it, acronyms are part of everyday life and even cafes are using them. For example, a cafe with an acronym name that I really like for its simplistic but funky nature is APTE (‘A place to eat’), located on the fringe of inner Melbourne. It’s here that we went to and eat and drink.
APTE has been around for a number of years and has become a long time favourite to many. One of the reasons for its appeal is the unusual location, half on a major road and half within an industrial area. For those who live within inner Melbourne, going to cafes nearby is highly convenient and a great advantage. However, there is a thrill going to cafes a little bit out of the ‘inner circle’ which aim to do great coffee and food. Whilst APTE is in Alphington and on the fringe of inner Melbourne, it does burst with life inside and outside.
Usually I try to paint a picture of what the decor and ambiance was like, to highlight a places’ unique features. Sadly, I had contract pink - eye. Not just a little pink eye – I had managed to contract enough of an infection for me to struggle to open my eyes whilst ordering my coffee. You will have to analyse the photos with great concentration to gauge the decor and ambiance yourself.
Whilst drinking my long black [$3.50] half blind, I did notice that their coffee was sourced from 5 Senses. They had their own blend which included four different coffee beans. I also noted that while 5 Senses coffee is a fantastic brand, on this occasion my coffee was in great shape. As expected there was a nice and defined crisp taste without any bitterness, but was surprised that it wasn’t as dark and chocolate-like as their other blends. It was a fantastic coffee and I was very impressed that it came from the suburbs. Not that I am insulting people from the suburbs.. but when you do find good coffee out of the inner metropolitan area the barista should be hugged with both arms!
The theory that if one human sense is down the other four senses compensates was about to be tested. With this in mind, my taste buds wanted something sweet. There were two main sweet brunch options, Banana Bread – toasted house made banana and coconut bread with honey labna, pistachios & rhubarb [$15] and Ricotta Hot – cakes served with poached seasonal fruit, honey & orange infused ricotta [$15.50]. However, it got me thinking – why not enjoy the best of both worlds and so order the Mixed Platter [$16], which provided a sample of both sweet treats? This is exactly what I did.
They were equally fantastic and I had continuously swap and change. The banana bread had a lovely soft, moist texture and the pistachios were a good addition that elevated the flavours. It was warm and perfectly complimented the fresh rhubarb and honey labna, really pushing the sweet flavours throughout this dish. The hot cakes had a nice, fluffy texture. It was the poached fruit, however, which transformed this dish from normal hot cakes into something special. The sauce was a little unbearable at times but overall this sweet dish did kick goals.
APTE was once a deserted storefront but now brims with life within this sleepy section of Alphington. It has a formula which other cafes in the outer suburbs of Melbourne should embrace as there is nothing better than waking up in the morning and strolling down the street to a fantastic cafe like APTE.”
“Mr LB had been cranky all weekend as his eyesight had completely deteriorated as a result of dodgy contacts. I kept telling him that (despite the painfully bright sunlight) a trip outdoors would be good as his taste buds would be extra sensitive to compensate for his blurry vision.
We decided to make a trip down to Alphington to visit a place known as APTE (A Place To Eat), created by the original owners of Hawthorn’s infamous Liar Liar. We arrived around the 12:30pm or 1pm mark on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and were quickly given seats on a large communal table in the second dining room on the left. As we entered APTE, I couldn’t help but appreciate the casual environment and local art for sale along the walls.
I grabbed some lifestyle magazines and tried to read some of the more entertaining articles to Mr LB as I waited for my Braised Lamb – Braised tender lamb, slowly cooked in lemon, parsley & fresh tomatoes served with feta, rocket, roasted cherry tomatoes complimented with garlic Parmesan bread [$15.90] and soy latte. The acoustics in the venue were rather loud, taking me back to our earlier visit to Richmond’s Pillar of Salt.
When our meals came out before our coffee we were a little surprised – surely the kitchen was not more organised than the barista station? But alas, such was the case! My braised lamb and garlic bread looked exceptional. I took my first bite into the garlic bread and it was ripe with Parmesan and garlic. Next, I had some of the roasted cherry tomatoes which were soft beside the tender braised lamb. Rich, gentle and sweet, the tomatoes were just so beautifully cooked. The lamb was rich and tender, perfectly matched by the garlic bread.
APTE was honestly much better than I expected it to be – the food was just excellent, as was presentation. There was something fresh and homely about the food there. Despite the acoustics making it a little difficult to hold conversation, I was keen to return sometime in the future and try out more of the menu. APTE exceeds its own title – it’s not just a place to eat, but a place to enjoy.”
Final Thought: “Best of both worlds for sweet lovers”