251 Highett St,
Mon – Sat: 7am – 4pm
Sun: 8am – 4pm
Coffee: Code Black
“Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. Life is busy, there’s no time for anything and stress levels are through the roof. Well that’s exactly where I was at late last year with my impending wedding to G (which went off superbly!). There was no time to research and dedicate time to one of my favourite hobbies – finding the best brunch in Melbourne and experiencing a new type of well-made coffee. With a new year we turn over a new leaf, and G and I have agreed to try more new places to share with you all rather than keep going to local hotspots. So trolling through my Instagram, I went about saving a bunch of screenshots of places to check out – starting with A Thousand Blessings in Richmond.
This cafe is a mother and daughter run business that focuses on fresh, seasonal produce and, where possible, tries to source produce that are organic and biodynamic – think free of synthetic chemicals and fertilisers. A Thousand Blessings has been open since 2009, and flicking through their Instagram it’s no wonder why – think bright, fresh organic dishes that you expect to see in a Lorna Jane recipe book.
It was a dreary Sunday when G and I arrived to what we thought would be a small, humble, cafe. Instead we found a surprising mid-sized cafe that contrasted a marble countertop with recycled-style wooden wall paneling. White paint and a distressed feature wall created a nice contrast and widened the space. There are two main rooms which are adjoined with narrow hallways, creating a linear line of sight upon entry. There is outdoor seating as well, suitable for groups of 2 or 3. Despite a small queue, we managed to get a table rather quickly, albeit outside.
The menu here is surprisingly quite large – there is a whole page dedicated to ultra healthy options such as Cacao Cherry Granola – crunchy buckwheat, cacao nibs, puffed grains, pepitas, golden flaxseed, sunflower seeds, goji berries, chia seeds, sour cherries and toasted coconut flakes. Served with raw cacao almond mylk, poached cherries summer berries and citrus [$16] add coconut yoghurt [+$4]. The second page was filled with more egg-based brunches such as Smoked Pork Benedict – shredded pork ham hock, smashed minted peas, poached eggs served with pork and pea croquettes and apple cider hollandaise [$22].
We started our day with ordering our coffees – a double espresso and long black of the house blend by Code Black, 3056. It was a combined 40% Guatemala El Tesoro (washed) and 60% Ethiopia Abaya (natural). The tasting notes suggested grapefruit, spiced apple and vanilla.
They took about 10 minutes to come out with our coffees and we were both pretty happy with it. The flavour profile was gentle with a mild brightness from the grapefruit. It had a sweet nose to it, perhaps from the vanilla.
I ordered the Cacao Cherry Granola for my brunch and when it came out I was excited. It was bright, fresh and delicious looking. The almond mylk looked a delicious chocolatey colour and I couldn’t wait to pop it in. My immediate impression of the dish was that it reminded me of Coco Pops! Ofcourse, it was much nicer than any Coco Pops I’ve ever had. The grains all perfectly complement each other and the flaxseeds add a nice nuttiness to the crunchy dish.
The fruit was so fresh and juicy, the strawberries and poached cherries bursting in my mouth and releasing a sweetness that compliments the cacao taste which was quite prominent. There were also dehydrated raspberries which contributed more subtly to the overall flavours in this dish. It was surprisingly filling and three quarters of the way through eating this I found myself quite full.
G ordered the Love Feast – poached eggs, maple glazed bacon, smashed avocado (with ricotta and feta) with melted cheesy sourdough [$20]. I had a taste of the maple glazed bacon, which was perfectly balanced between the sweetness of the maple and saltiness of the bacon. G thought the avocado was fresh but could have done with a bit more feta. The dish was garnished with a generous serving of fennel, complimenting the runny poached eggs and melted cheesy goodness.
Overall I found that A Thousand Blessings exceeded our expectations. Picking something a bit different from the menu pays off well here, and there was a great selection of brunch dessert if your stomach can fit it all in. A great place that I would highly recommend trying.”
Final thought: “Fresh and exciting healthy brunch”