Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
16. Jan, 2012
Reverence: Noun: Deep respect for. Verb: Regard or treat with deep respect.
When brother and sister Andreas and Annie Martinu were considering what to call their new cafe, they didn’t choose a name willy-nilly. Reverence Specialty Coffee and Tea in Ascot Vale is the sort of place that takes everything it does seriously, from the design and house-roasted beans to the home made sweets, and does it well.
The Martinu’s comes from a hospitality background, with the family running a number of restaurants over the years, most recently Cafe Beelzebub in Fitzroy. Annie, who is barista and co-roaster with her brother, explains the pair grew up with their parents taking them out for coffees rather than Cokes. The lessons have stuck.
Annie cut her teeth roasting at The Mailing Room then as barista at Earl Canteen, while Andreas continues to work as co-roaster and Wholesale Manager at Atomica. Last year they decided to open their own place, conveniently around the corner from their house. The old solicitor’s office that is now Reverence took months to redo and features the original tinned pressed ceiling, bright front windows and an orange feature wall that matches the cups.
The coffee heritage is obvious, with pretty much any type of coffee you care to shake a stick at on offer: espresso, pour over, aero press, cold drip, a rotating single origin, etc.
The beans are roasted on site and are sold in the cafe, along with other coffee paraphernalia (some of which looks like it was developed by NASA) and local produce like Ascot Vale honey by Rooftop Bees.
Teas are given high priority too, which three swish looking Marco eco-brewers preparing organic Somage teas to specific temperature, time and dosage. All teas are served by the cup.
Then there’s the food, a robust menu assembled by ex-Duchess of Spotswood chef Shane Donelly. There are options like Creamed tapioca pudding (heilala, vanilla, fresh mango and pistachio $12), Kassler steak (salted and smoked pork with fried duck egg, crispy potato, house made relish on rye toast $16). All sauces and preserves are made on site.
And on the sweet side of things, Annie’s mother Brigette bakes most of the sweets, including classics like hedgehog and banana bread.
So if you’re want to pay your respects to good food, coffee and tea, head over to Reverence. Just like mamma used to bake.
In the first of our monthly peek behind-the-scenes of Melbourne's restaurant scene, we witness the mayhem and madness of Chin Chin's daily staff meal. Affectionately known at 'trough'.
We were lucky enough to attend Chin Chin's first birthday bash and document David Thompson's 13-course degustation as it happened.