1/260 Wickham Rd,
Mon – Fri 6.30am – 3.30pm
Sat – Sun 8am – 2pm
Coffee: Code Black
Entering the industrial area of Moorabbin, there is an unlikely modern cafe called The Tradesman, no doubt named after the Monday to Friday clientele.
The vibes of The Tradesman cafe was immediately different to what I was anticipating. It was almost this bizarre mix of a workers canteen and modern cafe, seamlessly spliced into one. Being a white collar corporate by day, I must admit I was caught off guard upon entering. There is one large communal table outside that could seat a group and inside are a few group tables, tables for two and bench space.
The floors are white tiled and the walls are a mix of panelled woods and black framing. I think my “canteen” feeling comes from the cafe layout more than anything. Perhaps there was not enough tables? I’m just not sure.
There is also a TV in the cafe which is good if you’ve got a family, but does perhaps lower the overall classiness of the joint. The staff were very friendly and took us to our seats and brought us our coffees.
Now, it’s important at this point it interject that while I am hesitant about the cafe layout, the coffee here is damn good. With beans sourced from Code Black, it was a chocolatey, sweet and delicious double espresso.
For mains, G ordered The Tradesman – Free range eggs eggs cooked to your liking with bacon, mushrooms, house made potato rosti, pork chipolatas, roasted tomatoes and relish on sourdough [$19.50], steering away from his usual “Elvis breakfast”.
I was torn between something that I really felt like versus what drew me here – Red velvet pancakes with mascarpone cheese, topped with brownie soil, fresh strawberries, blueberries and vanilla ice cream [$17]. I opted to order what I thought you’d want to see.
The mascarpone was very thick and creamy – more on the cream side than anything else. The pancakes themselves were dense and had a subtle red velvet flavour running through them. The pancakes needed something more to be runny or moist, so the ice cream is a necessary addition. This dish comes to life when you start mixing all the element together and when the ice cream starts melting; it’s rich but very approachable.
G’s dish was a real winner. Sampling the bacon and relish I was really impressed. The bacon was thick cut and smokey. The chipolatas had a beautiful combination of complex flavours running through it – fennel, aniseed were some dominant notes that rose from my palate. The organic cherry tomatoes were served still in the vine and G was very happy with his dish – and understandable why!
We’d also ordered the smoothie of the day – Proper protein with frozen banana and coconut water – banana, coffee and blueberry [$9.50]. While the price was a bit steep (didn’t realise until I was writing this blog how expensive it was!) it was delicious. A nice balance between the vanilla protein and banana. Despite the rich colour from the blueberries, I couldn’t really taste them. The goji berries and toasted coconut flakes were a nice addition for a polish flavour.
The Tradesman Cafe filled up a bit more throughout the morning, I found myself relaxing into my brunch and enjoying the atmosphere a bit more. It’s cute and definitely injects some life into this otherwise industrial part of Moorabbin. It promotes healthy eating for the locals and the food, coffee and service had really turned me around.
Final thought: “A little oasis in Moorabbin serving an excellent brew”