18 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Mon – Fri: 9am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 9am – 5pm
Coffee: Social Roasting Company
“When I hear Melbourne has been voted the most livable city in the world I flinch, cringe and grit my teeth. I’m not one to object to the award or appeal, but I find it hard that Melbourne can be considered above notable rivals Paris, New York or Chicago. Having worked and lived in this great city (now acclimatised to its charm), I can see so many faults and flaws which make Melbourne unique. There are still times, though, where Melbourne still surprises me. It can be in the form of the strong vintage and indie culture scene or for the fact that bikes are the must have accessory. However, what about a farm at the bottom of Johnston Street in Abbotsford? Not just any farm, but a children’s farm by the name of Collingwood Children Farm. It is here we had traveled on a Sunday morning, littered with kids, parents, people movers, bikes, vegans and hippies to which we visited – The Farm Cafe.
To arrive at The Farm Cafe is a task in itself. Once you find a park it’s a process of following the copper-brick road to the dirt track which meets up to a bike track then by following the bike track you will come across the cafe. Once you have arrived and have felt that ‘Where’s Wally’ is easier to master, you can enjoy the open and fresh outdoor ambiance which this cafe delivers. There is definitely a community feel as soon as you enter it, as if you are a part of an organic farm with good coffee. On a lovely Melbourne day, this is the brunch place to be.
Where goats runs to grass, I run for coffee and to the barista station ordering my long black [$3.50]. The Farm Cafe surprisingly source their coffee beans from Social Roasting Company, a coffee roasting entity that resides in Flemington. With this realisation I was curious and excited to see whether their blend could be replicated away from the source cafe/roaster. Once my long black was in my hot hands it was surprising to see it had come with a little piece of brownie. It had a lovely, fresh taste without having a complex flavour. There was no bitter taste and was also addictive. Interestingly, there was no real difference between The Farm Cafe and Social Roasting Company. The only difference was that the The Farm Cafe went one step more to provide a delicious soft brownie.
The menu at The Farm Cafe was quite impressive and innovative and it was one of those occasions where you wanted to come back and try all the dishes. On this occasion I decided to go out on a limb and ordered the Goat’s Toast- sourdough toast topped with beetroot relish, goats cheese, avocado, mint & baby curd [$15.50] – with a poached egg [$17.50]. Goat’s cheese dishes are typically boring and uneventful, however on this occasion it was the opposite. The goat cheese had a lovely soft taste with a hint of saltiness, which went well with the avocado and the lovely crafted poached egg. What elevated this dish was the beetroot relish which gave it the necessary savoury taste which worked wonders with the goat cheese, making it a joy to eat.
Brunch-dessert was calling and the scones seemed to be a good send off. I got confused with how the scones were supposed to be ordered as I wanted two scones for Miss SL and myself to share. When I ordered the scones [$5 for two scones & $10 for four scones] I had seemed to have ordered double. The scones were baked to perfection, having the right density which was well complemented with fresh raspberry jam and cream.
The Farm Cafe is a gem when it comes to providing a special outdoor brunch experience. It’s places like The Farm Cafe which contributes to Melbourne’s charm and appeal, making it one of the best city’s in the world.
“I can’t remember what I was reading when I’d found out about a cafe called ‘The Farm Cafe‘ but it doesn’t matter – when I’d googled the place I was set – Mr LB and I had to come here. What enchanted me about this concept was not only that it was a children’s farm, but it was only a short drive from the CBD and an ideal outing for a family, keeping both the parents and children entertained.
We parked nearby the farm and walked down, skipping the entrance fee by walking along the bike path behind the entrance gate (we weren’t being bad, we were told to do so!). We arrived at the charming gates of The Farm Cafe, which was packed to the brim with families sitting together around picnic tables enjoying their brunch.
The Rabbit and his friend joined us for brunch and as rain spat down from the grey clouds we huddle underneath one side of table, protected by an umbrella. We’d already ordered our coffees and when they came out, I must admit that I was rather impressed with it. I expected it to be terrible, but it was actually really lovely and smooth. The brownie that accompanied was like a cruel teaser – so sweet and perfect with my coffee, it sealed our fates that brunch-dessert was a must.
Perusing the menu, everything at this cafe looked hearty and delicious. I kept flicking between Goats Toast – sourdough topped with beetroot relish, goats cheese & avocado, mint and baby chard [$15.50] with a poached egg [$17.50] and the Fritters – green pea, zucchini & haloumi fritters with a mixed tomato, herb salad & natural yoghurt [$15.50]. I went with the fritters.
When my fritters came out, I was wowed by them. The presentation looked incredibly appetising and I was greedy for my first mouthful. I split my egg so that my yolk spilled out on top of the fritters. Mopping up the yolk with my fritter, I was in heaven. The fritters were a little too salty for my liking – perhaps they seasoned it in addition to the haloumi – but were smooth and delicious, melting in my mouth. My eggs were cooked faultlessly, and the cherry tomatoes were juicy and fresh.
I think what I was so impressed was how much such a small kitchen can deliver – excellent produce, great coffee and friendly staff who try to help you find a seat. The Rabbit seemed to really enjoy his meal, Slow Cooked Beans – white beans in a tomato & fennel seed sauce with creamy fetta & fresh herbs served with sourdough toast [$12] with a poached egg [$13.50].
Overall we all really enjoyed our meals. The best part was that after the meal, we could walk around and look at the animals. A great day for friends and family! A must do if you’re living in Melbourne, or even just visiting.”
Final thought: “A great brunch for the parents and a great day for the kids”
The Collingwood Children’s Farm, where The Farm Cafe is located, is well worth the visit. We spent about an hour looking around the farm, but if you have little ones, you might need to allocate two or more.
Free pony rides, feeding the animals and cow milking all prove to be activities well worth hanging around for, so that your kid can truly enjoy the experience.