Mon – Fri : 7.30am- 4.00pm
Sat – Sun: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Coffee: Proud Mary, single origin
“City planning is the linchpin in making a city attractive, livable and creating that spark for a love affair. For any dreamy city like London, Paris or New York, the city plan must have the right vision to be relevant for today and tomorrow. Unlike some major European cities that remain in a time capsule and Asian cities that build their skyline with little consideration of its effects, Melbourne is progressing nicely. Sure, there is the undisputed fact that the city boundary lines continue to expand ever so quietly, but overall Melbourne is progressing nicely. Unique spaces such as old port sheds, warehouses and landmarks are being transformed into something unique whilst retaining its history, maintaining the progressive nature of our fair city. Lux Foundry is one such example, taking a decommissioned warehouse and transforming it into a cafe with the history still written on the walls.
Arriving at Lux Foundry, I was taken away by the external breath of the building. It stands very tall and proud around its industrial neighbourhood, with the original building name fading into the brick work. Surrounding the entrance is the necessary ‘cafe’ touches of outdoor settings and garden patches that rub away some of its industrial look, creating an attractive space. The same can be said about the interior, with the paint on the brick wall stripped back and decorated with war inspired decor of cabinets and vintage prints. At the same time there is a modern feel with carefully placed lighting and modern artwork that blends perfectly, creating a genuine old vs new ambiance.
While Miss SL was enthusiastically going around and taking happy snaps, I got myself settled in and ordered our coffees. As I tussled over what was the most appropriate meal before heading to work, my Single Origin long black [$3.80] arrived and it was pure gold. There was a nice clean, smooth taste with the typical and most welcome fruity flavours shining through. Miss SL’s short black provided the full impact of the fruity flavour, whereas my long black had a smooth balance which I enjoyed. Floral and nectar aromas swam through the coffee flavours. No matter the size of the portion, both coffees were of an excellent standard.
Being a lover of brunch, food selection at Lux Foundry was quite difficult – there were too many good options to choose from! While humans are notoriously known for making terrible decisions when presented with too many options, my gut was telling me to go for the Coconut crusted French toast with espresso mascarpone, berry compote, torrone + Canadian maple [$16.9]. While a sugar rush just before work could result in a disaster, I just couldn’t go pass trying the coconut-French toast.
The dish itself was well presented with all of the components neatly organised. The coconut and French toast was a hit on its own as the coconut flakes balanced the sweet egg-sugar batter. The bread was well-soaked, provide that desirable sweet crunch.
The sides were also a success by their own merit. Anything with an espresso flavour is an eye opener to a coffee lover like me and this mascarpone didn’t let the team down. It had been whipped, providing an espresso hit with perfect intensity. The mascarpone complemented the toast as it added an additional layer that maintained the overall experience of the dish. The berry compote, too, was rich in flavour heightening the sweet taste. I really love the innovation Lux Foundry brought to this dish. My only criticism (which is personal preference only) was that I found that having the mascarpone and berry compote combination a little overbearing at times. One element would have been perfect with the maple.
I really enjoyed Lux Foundry, as this cafe had a really fresh approach to brunch. Whilst they supplied the usual menu items they also had other dishes that really pushed the boundaries. To dine in a cool, casual place that is full of history is something not only perfectly Melbourne, but also very unique. Lux Foundry has certainly crept into my favourite brunch places and I would recommend you give them a real good go.”
“Gossip. It’s strange isn’t it? The he-says-she-says conspiracy that stems from suspicion or dislike and spirals out of control in the blink of an eye. It affects all of us no matter what life you lead, be it in your little social circle or the vicious world of large corporations. Like anything in this world, however, gossip can be wielded and manipulated into serving a positive purpose. For a lot of cafes and restaurants gossip is the main revenue generator, causing droves of on-trend Melbournians to their door. In the case of our latest find, gossip had reached the ears of my trendy co-worker from Sydney, Alison, who recommended we try Lux Foundry.
Mr LB and I decided to visit on our way to work one day, and elected to bike ride as it was reasonably close to my new apartment. The first thing you notice is how large the space is from the outside. The building is quite majestic with its red-bricks and wide space. The courtyard almost has a commercial feel about it, but as soon as you enter this building you’re immediately transported into a much more intimate and relaxed atmosphere. The walls are artfully dilapidated and are made clean by extremely elegant over-sized light bulbs overhanging the front counter.
We sat down and had our coffee orders taken almost immediately, ordering the usual suspects. One thing that really drew me to come here was the menu. With items like Breakfast quesadilla with spiced frijoles, eggmont cheese, nopal cactus, chilli + tomatillo salsa verde [$13.50] and Prawn, zucchini + chorizo scrambled eggs with pea + mint puree on sourdough toast [$15] it’s hard to resist wanting to come back and try out the entire menu.
When my double espresso [$3.50] came out I couldn’t help but enjoy the full-bodied flavour of my coffee. It had a beautiful floral and fruity tone to it, emanating a peach flavour. It was the best coffee I’d had in a while and it was funny how Mr LB had picked it as a Proud Mary blend straight away!
For mains I decided to go for something different, opting for the Crispy poached eggs with chilli caramel jam + coriander with sourdough toast [$13.50]. I was envisioning son-in-law eggs when I ordered this dish and got something quite similar! The eggs were crumbed with what seemed like panko crumbs and were perfectly golden on the outside. My anticipation was building!
As my knife pierced the top of the eggs, a definite snapping sound could be heard as the skin tore and the yolk oozed out the centre of these perfectly round pieces of heaven. The sourdough was cooked perfectly and as I chewed these two elements together there was the definite crunching of the perfectly cooked crumbing. The chilli jam was a lot sweeter than I anticipated but seemed to balance the strong flavour of the coriander.
Something unexpected in this dish was the spicy bite found in the smashed avocado. This was due to lime being used instead of the typical lemon, resulting in sharp, fierce flavour that actually seemed to create a bit of heat on the palate. Something that was quite nice here was that the waiter (who we later found out was the owner) made the effort to stop by all the tables and check on the quality of the food and coffee.
As we finished up our brunch and headed to the counter we ended up chatting to one of two owners – Emilio Rogliano. Both Emilio and co-owner Daniel Amato opened up Lux Foundry nearly 4 years ago, and after a rocky start and a constant tweaking have built a reputation.
“It’s hard for us, because despite having such a big layout and looking like a big cafe, we actually really depend on good word of mouth. We’re actually really impacted by bad reviews because we’re actually still a small business. We’re certainly no Auction Rooms or Proud Mary. That’s why whenever we see a bad review we deal with it personally,” Emilio explained. As he talked it was really obvious how passionate he is about his business and how genuine he was being.
As we left Lux Foundry for our morning ride in to work, I couldn’t help but think how great it was to meet a cafe owner that cared so much for his patrons. The food here was beautiful and if this place had ever had a shaky reputation in the past, we can now confirm that they are rock steady and top quality. I honestly feel that Lux Foundry is a real gem of a cafe and I’m super glad to have found out about this treasure trove of a cafe. This is a cafe worth travelling out of your way for.”
Final thought: “A personable cafe with an exciting menu that delivers great food”