Food and Drink


From Birdman to Backstreet Cafe

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So far 2012’s turning out pretty well in Melbourne (well, all except for the weather). We’ve now got Huxtaburger, Patricia, Temple Brewing and now Backstreet Cafe.

Opened this week by the people behind perennially popular Birdman Eating, Backstreet Cafe is an ambitious project, and a tasty one at that.

More than just a cafe, Backstreet is part providore, bakery, charcuterie, restaurant and bar. They bake their own bread, make their own relish, cure their own meat, and are going to sell produce on site. If that wasn’t enough they’ll be doing breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Phew.

Sitting opposite Ici on the corner of Kerr and Napier Streets, Backstreet Cafe is all exposed wooden beams and straight lines. Wood is good. Inside feels more like a place to have an evening meal then breakfast, but it’s a minor quibble.

At the moment it’s breakfast and lunch until the dinner service starts with the liquor license next week. Still there’s plenty to choose from, with the extensive menu offering interesting stuff like Breakfast banger with condiments ($18), Fresh cod, black olive, tomato and extra virgin olive oil ($17), Herb quark on pumpernickel bread ($11) and Morcilla, apple compote, horseradish, fried eggs and green leaves ($16.5).

Honestly, I could easily have any of these dishes and it took some deciding, but in the end I went with the Golden Muffin (breaky sausage, fried egg, scarmorza and house tomato sauce $11.5).

The best breakfast I’ve had all year. OK so it’s the only breakfast I’ve had out all year, but the Golden Muffin already holds a special place in my heart (and stomach).

First, let’s start at the top. A light, heavily buttered house muffin sits on top, next level down there’s rich and gooey melted scamorza, the Italian cow’s milk cheese that’s similar to mozzarella but with more punch. On level three I found the egg, with its vivid yoke that’s…rich and gooey too. Superb. Things just keep getting better the further down I go, where the breaky sausage lives on level two with it’s spicy, peppery kick. And on the first floor is the house tomato sauce, which adds a nice sweet note to everything.

It’s not often you have a meal that causes you to stop mid-eat, put down your utensils, close your eyes and just concentrate of chewing. This is such a meal, greater than the sum of it’s parts. Yum.

In-between my revery my friend ordered the Baked eggs with Moroccan meatballs ($14). I’d talk about it but I’m too taken with the Golden Muffin to spit out any more adjectives. Suffice to say it was bloody good too. I’ll let the picture say the rest…

While I’m not a huge fan of Birdman Eating, Backstreet Cafe has nailed it on the head. From my first little nibble into their tasty world, I reckon there’s plenty of good stuff to come in 2012. They also do takeaway lasange.

Happy New Year!

Backstreet Cafe
152 Kerr St, Fitzroy
9417 1212
Mon – Fri 7am – 10.30pm
Sat – Sun 8am – 10.30pm


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