Mon – Sun: 7:30am-5pm
Note: Accepts cash only
“Having been to a number of brunch places in and around Melbourne and telling people about them, you tend to fall into the trap with conversations such as “where are the best brunch places?” or “it’s my Dad’s birthday and I want to take him out for brunch, where should I go?”. Considering the size of Melbourne (some still call it a town), I find that there is no one best cafe to point and direct. The diversity of Melbourne and strong competition generally make no two cafes the same. In such instances, I categorise my favourite venue by event or occasion. This could be a post of its own, but one of the categories would be “People Visiting Melbourne”. This is the occasion that you want to impress your visitors to say that Melbourne is fantastic with food and ambiance. What’s more Melbourne then catching the 96 tram towards St Kilda, getting off and being greeted to Mart 130 at the stop?
I have been to Mart 130 on a numerous occasion and the only continued let down is their coffee. I’m not expecting Mart 130 to heavily invest with all the new coffee innovations, but their espresso coffee doesn’t match their amazing food. Coffee is sourced by Genovese Coffee, an Italian influence roaster with a blend called Super Brazil. The problem I have with this coffee is the lack of flavour. There is a notable dry taste to the coffee with no defining factor. The coffee doesn’t suit my palate as I enjoy rich and fruity flavours. The blend at Mart 130 can be described as conservative, with subtle flavours and a later dryness to the palate.
The menu at Mart 130 menu can be described as alluring, tasty and impressive. It can rival any decent brunch cafe with offerings including two times the choice of French Toast for the sweet tooth – Poached Pears, candied walnuts & mascarpone OR Grilled bacon & maple syrup [$16.9]. There is also lovely creations with eggs, however I believe their shining star on the menu is their Oven roasted Corn Fritters w/ bacon, relish, sour cream & coriander [$17.9]. The plating is truly something to marvel at as the corn fritters are stacked on each other with a layer of bacon separating each tier with a dob of relish on top. The fritters are fluffy and thick. The corn is fresh as you bite into, providing a refreshing taste to the starch mixture. The bacon is cooked to have a soft texture and the mango relish is divine as it gives a slight sweet taste to the corn fritters. Finally, the sour cream works well with the fritters and can be used with the relish to balance the sweetness.
Mart 130 is a Melbourne brunch institution, catering to both an exciting ambiance with fantastic menu options. It is a top pick of mine and if you’re either the casual bruncher or a regular, Mart 130 must be visited.
“It was a Friday morning and Mr LB and I decided to quickly sneak into Mart 130 before we headed off to work. Located at the Middle Park tram stop, this cafe seems to have previously been the station masters office, converted into a charming cafe with magnificent food. Mr LB and I definitely consider this as one of our favourite places – particularly if we’re in the mood for corn fritters, or a lazy Sunday reading the pullouts from The Age and The Herald Sun.
The cafe was unusually quiet when we arrived and we got straight to business, ordering our coffees and Oven roasted corn fritters with grilled bacon, relish, sour cream and coriander [$17.9]. Our meal arrived within a mere 10-15 minutes and I must admit that it looked a lot taller than I remember.
The corn fritters were as good as ever. It was fresh and juicy. The fritters were dense without being too heavy in the stomach. The bacon was crisp and generous with a small amount of fat to add a chewy texture to the dish. The relish was made of tangy mango and was delicious, adding bite to the dish.
Mart 130 is an excellent place to go for a weekend brunch, although be warned – the Genovese coffee is not so great, and it’s challenging to get a table for more than four people at a time. The food here is excellent no matter what you order and the meals are hearty, generous and made with quality without being pretentious or too ‘la-di-da’. Two thumbs up and a full belly from me.”
Final thought: “Excellent corn fritters”