November 15, 2012 2 Comments
Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
Note: Kitchen closes at 3pm every day
Coffee: Carousel, single origin, pour over, aeropress, guest roaster
“When I heard of a cafe from the North West which wasn’t too close to the CBD and provided specialty roasted coffee with the aim of producing a unique blend, I was jumping with joy. There have been too many occasions when I’ve been promised good coffee from the outer suburbs that claim to match their inner suburb companions and too many times where I have been burnt (or should I say, the coffee has been). Ascot Vale has all the characteristics and infrastructure to become the next hip suburb. Heck, if you lived in Ascot Vale you could walk to the races and some of Melbourne’s best music festivals, removing one self from the taxi madness. Whichever way Ascot Vale goes in the future, Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea will provide the high quality brunch and coffee you require.
Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea is a cool decked-out place for Ascot Vale. The space itself is diverse enough to suit any occasion. The front space has a clean, grey look with a splash of colour, plenty of coffee accessories and a distinct lack of try-hard nick knacks. Also on display is their well-oiled medium-sized coffee roaster which highlights their passion for coffee. Out the back of the property is where you can enjoy brunch in the sun – perfect for summer!
As we sat near the marvelous roasting machine and having the usually father, son & brotherly catch up, I ordered a Reverence Carousel houseblend in a long black [$3.50]. As my father revealed that he’s recently purchased his THIRD bike and that my (usually lazy) brother had taken up bike riding, the waitress intercepted with perfect timing with my coffee. The head had a lovely tanned colour and was the right portion size. I had found the coffee on this occasion to have subtle tones, that appeared to be fruity. This coffee wasn’t big on defining flavours and I think this was a good thing. Having a coffee with subtle notes is a great way to truly appreciate the clean taste with each sip and getting hock on the blend.
Ordering is always impossibly difficult and it was no different on this occasion. The breakfast menu looked a little uneventful for me, although I couldn’t resist the Middle Eastern spiced meatballs in tomato sauce w/yogurt, toasted bread & salad [$16]. The presentation was nice with four consistently shaped meatballs that were well-coated in tomato sauce. The sauce itself had the right (rich) consistency to complement the meatballs. I was looking for that spicy kick with the meatballs but unfortunately the spice was masked by the flavours of the sauce. The bread and the salad were nice additions and gave the dish some versatility, drawing attention away from the meatballs. All up this dish satisfied my hunger but it didn’t wow me in comparison to their coffee.
My brother, Clarkeus, had opted for the Pot Pie of the Week (Curry Lamb & Lentils) w Green Salad [$13] and seem to have no complaints. A completed dish is a happy dish in my family.
I think there is a lot of pressure on cafes to have that cool vibe while providing the best in everything that they do. Like in any group of people, some people are going to be cool, quirky, fun or interesting – but you need to be comfortable with yourself. Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea doesn’t need to be coolest cafe on the block, but by focusing on delivering unique and defining coffees it will give them the right edge. With time and inspiration to craft defining dishes, Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea will certainly make waves.”
“Siblings. Sometimes they’re your best friend, other times they’re your worst enemy. As we get older and time goes on, we come to appreciate our siblings and how they differ from ourselves. Speaking from experience, I spent a lot of my younger years crying over the treachery of my older brother – from hiding my favourite teddy bear and telling me that mum had thrown it out, to not playing Captain Planet with me (am I hinting at my age bracket, here?). Yet, as time went on we fought less and less and even came to confiding in each other. I couldn’t imagine life without my brother who (still) bosses me around but inspires and re-calibrates me back to reality when I get swept away with my imagination.
So what happens when a brother and sister share the same passion? What if that passion was coffee? Something powerful – that’s what; the opening of a cafe that has the full support of its owners behind it. Enter Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea, opened by Andreas and Annie Martinu. Annie takes the helm of this cafe, with her history of grinding coffee at The Maling Room and then working as barista in the CBD’s ex-crumpet champion Earl’s Canteen. Andreas balances his roles as Atomica’s Wholesale Manager and Reverence co-roaster.
As we entered the cafe space I noticed how clean and understated the decor was. There was no ‘wow’ paneling or features about its interior, but there was something extremely casual about the place. We were thirty minutes (!) late to meet Mr LBs brother and old man for a catch up brunch and sheepishly joined them on a table against the bright orange feature wall, next to the coffee roaster.
Our food decisions needed to be made with haste, and I opted for the Mushroom Medley – assorted mushrooms with baked ricotta and spinach on sourdough [$14] and a double espresso [$3.50] of the Reverence Carousel houseblend. As we made jokes at Mr LBs expense, our coffees arrived. My double espresso was immediately likable and the flavours were fruity but had the right balance between being bright and smooth.
When my main came out I was caught off guard – I was expecting to see freshly cooked mushrooms with a sprinkle of ricotta and some steamed spinach atop my sourdough. What I got instead was a saucy mix of mushroom which could be likened to a stew. This definitely didn’t look like the healthy choice I was opting for! The mushrooms were juicy within the almost butter-like sauce. The ricotta was melted into the medley and the spinach was hard to come by. The sauce itself was rich but not sickening, and the sourdough absorbed some of the juices without become unbearably soggy. Overall the dish was nice, but a little sickening. I think this is because I’m not used to really creamy, rich dishes though, so it really depends on what you like.
The Reverence Carousel houseblend was the highlight of my meal. If I were passing through Ascot Vale and in need of a pick-me-up, Reverence Specialty Coffee & Tea would certainly be on my list for a coffee. The venue was very relaxed and was suitable to go with friends, brother, sister and potentially even little ones! “
Final thought: “Beautiful coffee”