Sun-Sat: 7am – 3pm
Coffee: Padre Coffee
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
“A suburb doesn’t become hip overnight. A number of factors are at play that ‘set up’ the possibility, and then something happens to create the hipster status. Before Fitzroy or Collingwood became the most sought after inner city lifestyle, they were considered…filthy. The people were not civil, there was a huge alcohol and drug problem and the distance to travel for a nice drink, coffee, brunch or restaurant was an effort. Cheap real estate saw a lot of young first home buyers move in. As time progressed, bars, cafes, retail shops and restaurants popped up and started creating a stir. It became an indie hangout – gaining some traction, tipping into the hipster lifestyle. If not for the cafes and restaurants taking up a unique opportunity, there wouldn’t have been this movement. Footscray is currently in the ‘set up’ phase, but one café that has marked Footscray as an ideal brunching location is Footscray Milking Station.
Located on the leafier side of the suburb, Footscray Milking Station is nicely situated on a corner street. Its exterior resembles what once might have been a milk bar. Inside the space is tight with only a few tables and chairs alongside the kitchen and barista station. Luckily, there is further seating out the front and back to ensure queue time is minimised. The décor consists largely of wooden paneling with an assortment of random chairs and tables providing a rustic feel.
We got ourselves comfortable out the back. While Miss SL stole my new rain coat for warmth we ordered some coffees. Service was lacking a little as we were one of only two groups sitting outside, but after hailing down a waiter it was all systems go. My long black [$3.50] was the seasonal house blend of padre coffee. It was good pedestrian coffee with a smooth texture, but no immediate flavour was evident.
In between catching up on gossip and planning our big day for launching The Modern Connoisseur, we ordered brunch. The menu options were limited with an emphasis on brunch with rotating lunch specials. A favourable and novel aspect to the menu is the option of something light (perfect for on-the-go) or heavier. The Baked eggs – sugo, chick peas, chorizo, squacquerone cheese, toast [$16] took my fancy.
The baked eggs had a surprising and unique flavour (I sensed paprika and sage), seasoned with the slightly soup-like sauce. The sauce had a nice consistency being of the right portion to egg ratio, which I really enjoyed dunking my bread in. The chorizo looked more like little sausages, however these little parcels had a prominent smokey flavour that quickly became the centerpiece of this dish. While these baked eggs weren’t the best I’ve ever had, they were still quite enjoyable on a winter’s day.
I do have a soft spot for Footscray Milking Station. They have taken a gamble to set up in Footscray, a place that is in need of a brunching attention. The quality of their coffee isn’t in the same ball game as Common Galaxia, but the environment they have cultivated and its drive to create good meals is enough to give this cafe a go.”
“It was a cold winter’s morning when Mr LB and I decided to go to Footscray for brunch. With an odd cafe name – Footscray Milking Station – one can’t help but imagine there would be cows on the premise. And there was… almost!
The place was bustling when we arrived but I think this was more to the fact that it was too cold to sit outside. Alas, the only seat available to us was out in the courtyard out the back. Walking through the small venue it was hard to miss a beautiful pantry packed up to the ceiling with goodies.
Quite often the problem with sitting out in the courtyard, in a venue that’s bustling inside, is that the staff tend to forget about your existence and that’s what seemed to happen a little in this case. I was in a good mood though, so me and Mr LB were happily chatting away.
The menu here looked pretty delicious and I have to say that I was in the mood for something simple yet delicious – and the Cubano toastie – porketta, ham, chipotle mayonnaise, tomato relish, cornichons, gruyere cheese [$11] looked perfect for the job! It took a little while to come out of the kitchen but what came out was very homely.
The sandwich had bread from Brasserie bakery and was toasted nicely. The ham provided the top layer over the porketta (juicy boneless pork roast) and was the first flavour to hit my palate. It was really beautiful and delicious. The porketta had a really strong presence in my toastie, instantly taking me back to my mother’s kitchen where she would pressure-cook the pork roast to make it all tender before further cooking it in a curry.
The cornichons (fancy name for gherkin) in the middle of the sandwich added a much-needed punch of saltiness that burst through adding some excitement to the dish. With that said though, I have a particular penchant for gherkins so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The tomato relish was nice but the cheese was completely lost amongst this dish.
Overall I found Footscray Milking Station nice, but not amazing. The service was friendly, the coffee was nice and their prices were quite reasonable. There was seating but there seemed to be a heavy dependence on the outdoors without the provisions of heaters. It would be lovely to come revisit during the summertime.”
Final thought: “Home away from home in Footscray”