Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
30. Jul, 2012
It used to be that if a bunch of mates liked a café they’d go and hang out there all the time, just like in Seinfeld or Friends. But some people cut out the middle man altogether and start their own place: a la Satchmo’s Den.
James Martin got to know husband and wife Tom and Nat Gaden over the coffee machine at Wee Jeanie, the Yarraville cafe where James was a barista. Tom and Nat had recently sold their CBD cafe The Basement and were looking for something new, so all three decided to open a new place together.
Satchmo’s Den opened a few weeks back in the space Piadina Slow Food occupied for many years (you can spot it by the crocheted teapot out front, courtesy of Tom’s mum.) Inside some of the original fittings including the wooden benches and chalkboard menu have been kept, while the pals are adding their own touches to the project.
All three are musos so there’s a horn on the coffee machine that honks when the coffee’s ready, and instead of a bell ringing when food’s up there’ s a wee French horn by the kitchen.
Nat does front of house, James does coffee and Tom’s cooking a menu he describes as “Melbourne-style comfort food.” James says he want Satchmo’s Den to be “the sort of place where you’d have the sort of meal you’d get if you went to a mate’s house who was a really good cook.”
That means breakfast items including the Rustic Bean Pot – a fiery mixture of beans, cherry tomato and Napoli on toast ($14), ‘The Den’ bircher – a mix of soaked oats, currents, almonds and natural yoghurt with grated apple and seasonal berries ($9) and Satchmo’s favourite – either a ‘one’ or ‘two-hander’ egg and bacon roll sandwich with tomato, cheese, relish and aioli ($6/10).
Rolling into lunch the comfort-theme continues with sausage rolls with relish and salad $10 and lamb rogan josh served with rice, cucumber, mint raita and papadum $15.
Tom’s also baking muffins fresh everyday, and there’ll be live music and possibly a liquor license in time for summer. Now there’s a comforting thought.
57 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Mon – Fri 7.30am – 3pm
Broadway, bluegrass, the symphony orchestra and all that jazz.
Visual artist Harley Manifold blows the lids off our little boxes.
A sprouting green oasis in Melbourne’s inner-north.