I want to share a little gem with you. Don’t tell too many people though, this space is small and intimate and would be ruined by hordes of hungry Melbournians. Its charm comes from its simple food, wholesome philosophy and gorgeous staff.
I would like to preface this write up with a disclaimer. These divine folk provide me with my morning coffee every day – excellent coffee might I add. Now while I didn’t know them when I first moved into the area (I still only know them in a caffeinated capacity), it is possible that I, like Stockholm syndrome sufferers have become emotionally attached to this place. How can you not feel deeply for the person who hands you that warm cup of coffee each morning? They have also come to know my name, my order and my style of clothing – the barista/owner told me recently she found a pair of pants I just must have. She had me at pants.
Anyway, I’m getting distracted. Thomson Café and Food Store, found well and truly off the beaten track in Northcote is a local goldmine. With seating room for about 15 inside and another 6 outside, it’s one of those places where you feel you’re visiting a friend’s house for brunch.
The kitchen is almost non-existent. They cook all of the food behind the counter in tiny pots and ovens. Due to this, the menu is small and considered. In the egg department they stick to the baked variety like the #3 of caramelised onion, spinach and marinated feta ($14) or the #4 with pork sausage, white beans, béchamel sauce and a cheesy top ($14). They cover other brunch cravings with items like sticky fruit and ginger loaf with honey ricotta ($9) and the homemade bircher muesli ($10). And how can I not mention the smashed avocado? It’s delicious. Two (or one depending on how hungry you are), pieces of sourdough topped with avocado, marinated feta and toasted seeds ($13 for two slices). Each time you’ll get a different combination of the three breads available: white, rye and multigrain sourdough. All spot on.
When it comes to lunch they have a handful of sandwiches like the rare roast beef or chicken with walnuts, apple and celery. Larger meals come in the form of quesadillas and a slow cooked special which might see roast lamb with roasted potatoes.
Sweets are constantly rotating including muffins of chocolate and raspberry or spiced apple, currant, carrot and walnut, or polenta cakes with rosewater syrup. Baked savouries include egg tarts of feta and spinach and one morning I even saw a baked beetroot and blue cheese quiche. If smoothies are your thing they’ve also got you covered with five available. The clean eating, green smoothie drinking friends out there will enjoy the vegan raw cacao, a mix of home made almond milk, coconut milk, raw cacao powder, dates and maple syrup ($9) or the banana and spinach finished with coconut milk ($7).
You can also take home marinated feta, sourdough, dukkahs, curry pastes, Loving Earth pastes and homemade meals like curry and lasagne. If I’m telling the truth, sometimes it’s the only place I visit on a lazy Sunday.
So, one by one, not all at once, come spend some time in Thomson. You’ll like it.