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Take a second and have a think about your parents. How the heck did they used to find great food out?? There was no internet, Twitter or Facebook. Our love for brunch in Melbourne was certainly developed through a little thing called food blogs. They described the ambience and quality of a place without you having to leave the comfort of your home. When you follow a blog long enough, you tend to become a bit intrigued by the person(s) behind the scene.
We were recently given the opportunity to visit the newest hotspot Hub in St Kilda with other established food bloggers and it was an opportunity not to be missed. Putting faces too much loved food blogs certainly had Miss SL upbeat.
When we finally arrived it was easy to spot the table full of bloggers – the Nikon cameras were out and everyone was huddled in nice and close on a communal table. One of the first things we noticed about Hub was how intimate the environment was. The interior was really warm with red brick walls and a small fireplace – perfect for winter. The decor was mish-mashed and had cool artwork on the tables of pirate ships with little odes to cafe living, such as hanging pots and espresso portafilter door handles. The layout clever and you wouldn’t notice that the cafe fronts their hotel arm, Urban Hotel.
Hub had only been open for two weeks when we went, and we have to admit that it certainly lifts the quality of the sometimes dated restaurants and cafes residing on Fitzroy Street. The general manager of Hub, Roger Fowler, emphasised the community spirit of this local cafe. They work closely with the local Primary School in maintaining their veggie patch, provide kitchen induction days with The Sacred Hearts Mission and were in the process of getting artwork done by local grade 5′s and 6′s to hang on the walls. Who doesn’t love a cafe with a little heart and soul?
The menu is split into two halves – The Classics featuring items such as Eggs Benedict – poached eggs, bacon, hollandaise on brioche muffin [$17] and The Modern Takes which included items such as Vanilla and nut muesli with banana, yoghurt and milk [$9.5].
To kick off we were served with two share plates of the House made crumpets with lemon and creamed honey [$9.50] with our coffees. A normal serve would see you with two crumpets, perfectly made. We’re going to put it out there – these are the best crumpets we’ve ever had. Better than Earl’s Canteen. Light, fluffy and perfectly cooked, these little delights are worth the trip alone. The lemon spread creates this incredible zing and the creamy honey seemed like it was whipped to give it that extra smooth and rich flavour. YUM!
Hub sources their beans from Genovese. We’re use to our Genovese coffees being served slightly burned and bitter – and our coffee exhibited neither of these traits. It was surprisingly really, really good. Our coffees were sweet, full of flavour and very drinkable. They carried a lovely smooth taste that was very enjoyable.
Next up was one of the specials: the Croque madam – ham, gruyere, bechamel & a fried egg [$15] to share. The first thing we noticed about this dish was how incredible the bread was. Roger informed us that they sourced their bread from Zeally Bay Sourdough, all the way from Torquay! The crusts had a lovely crunch to them and the bread was a buttery gold colour. The cheese was powerful, salty and delicious, although it did mask the flavours of the lovely ham a little.
The meals started pouring out onto the table and all we could smell was eggs and bacon. First out was the Brioche French toast with caramelised apples & mascarpone cream [$16]. It looked incredible and we were both instantaneously jealous.
As our coffees were all done by this point we were offered to try their Freshly squeezed sunrise juice – orange, apple & pineapple [$6.50]. The presentation in little glass bottles was gorgeous and the juice was light, fluffy and refreshing.
Next up was the Avocado crushed, vine ripened tomato and feta on toast [$16]. It looked really lovely and fresh.
The Cinnamon porridge, caramelised pears and oat crumble [$9.50] was next out and it looked really delicious.
Lastly, out came our omelettes. Mr LB opted for the Grilled zucchini, feta, spinach and basil omelette [$16] and Miss SL went for the Chorizo, roast capsicum and potato omelette [$16].
“I love omelettes. So much to say that after having a big Friday night out you will usually see me in the kitchen whipping up an omelette as my evening snack. Friday night omelette had turned into an early Saturday morning and it was sure looked good. I cut into my omelette and inside the veggies look well prepared and had a great fresh taste. The basil was cooked inside the omelette which released a lovely taste, perfectly complimenting the feta. It was an all round success and the chutney certainly made my day.”
“My omelette came out and it was packed full of goodies. As I excitedly tried the chorizo I have to admit I was very slightly disappointed and this was ONLY because the weekend before I’d tried Hawk & Hunters chorizo which had an incredibly smokey taste to it. The rest of the omelette was perfectly made – the potatoes were golden brown and soft, and the capsicum deliciously juicy. The egg itself was well-crafted and enveloped all the ingredients like a gentle pillowcase. Overall it was an extremely filling meal, made moreso with the appetisers we’d had beforehand.”
Hub is a breath of fresh air to the cafe scene on their end of Fitzroy street. Made with love and community spirit, the passion of this cafe is well-reflected in the quality of their food. Hub is worth traveling for and when you go, don’t pass up the opportunity to try their crumpets!
Final Thought: “Best crumpets in Melbourne”