213-215 Nelson Pl
Wed – Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30 am-4pm
Coffee: Clement Coffee
“Black spots are inevitable in this review game. Not that we purposely choose particular suburbs over others, rather it comes down to where we reside and what’s considered – in our opinion – unique or promising. Scarcity is a concept we all unfortunately face.
Williamstown was originally a maritime hub, formally known as Hobsons Bay. With deep aboriginal and white settlement history, it’s of no surprise that Williamstown has an eccentric look of pioneer and modern architecture. The development of Williamstown blossomed during the boom times of the gold and wheat era, but today it’s a suburban gem – entrenched with a rich wharf history and picturesque sea views.
The latest brunch spot to spring out of Williamstown is Carter Smith Delvin. Whilst only being in operation since April,Carter Smith Delvin has bold brunch aspirations to distinguish itself away from the old restaurant guard of its neighbours. Owners Rus and his business partner have gone about stripping back the Nelson Place location to allow visitors to fully appreciate the heritage features and slick industrial decor.
The café is split into two different spaces, allowing for a divide between the kitchen/barista space and that of the dining area. Case in point is the kitchen, very much hidden away from the dining area except for a long slit carved out of the brickwork. Purpose-built wood palettes stacked on top of one another acts as the front counter, with the barista station and a series of ‘coffee gadgets’ spread across the bench. All in all, this slick cafe interior has strong industrial elements and is welcoming and unexpected for the location, but it works perfectly!
Sourcing coffee from Clement Coffee, South Melbourne, and teas from Calmer Sutra Tea, my single origin long black [$3.70] certainly didn’t disappoint. It was refreshing to see a well-crafted coffee that is championed in other great cafés. My Kenya brew had strong stone fruit notes and was slightly acidic, but mostly has sweet flavours on the back of the palate.
The menu at Carter Smith Delvin offers a wide selection of dishes for breakfast and lunch that focus on individual touches, as opposed to offering what everybody else is dishing up. With dishes including Chipotle Baked Beans, scotch egg, crackling & soldiers [$17], Mac n 3 Cheese [$16] or Grilled Octopus with Polenta Chips [$19]; making a brunch decision was quite difficult when attempting to minimise food envy.
Forced to make this difficult decision on a sunny Saturday, I elected a fish dish – House Cured Confit Trout, beetroot puree, golden beetroot, steamed potato, grated horseradish [$19] (GF) – seemed appropriate given our bay location. The plating was absolutely stunning, while looking more like lunch than brunch, the balanced arrangement of roasted vegetables surrounding the crispy salmon was stunning to admire.
The crispy skin of the salmon was perfect, having a delightful crunch with that ‘crackling noise’ when cutting into the fillet. There was a slight ‘raw pinkness’ on the base of the fillet, but it didn’t have an effect on the flavour. The salmon was moist and soft and combined well with the beetroot puree and sage. It was the perfect spring dish that had a touch of elegance matched with vibrant flavours.
JoJo went for a vegetarian option, Avocado House Made Mozzarella, turkish bread, roasted chickpeas, green chili oil [$17]. She commented on how fresh the flavours of her dish and particularly enjoyed the mix of the creamy textures of the avocado and mozzarella (house made!) that was combined with a Middle Eastern inspiration.
For the locals of Williamstown, say hello to an exciting and proper brunch experience. For the brunch addict that enjoys an exploration and tasting of Melbourne’s offerings, Carter Smith Delvin needs to be placed – at least – in the top five of cafes to visit next. Not only an inspiring location but a brunch experience to back it up.
Final Thought: “Great coffee and an inspiring menu – no avo smash to be found here”