the vertue of the coffee drink, carlton

Once we landed in Melbourne, we wasted no time and headed towards the first cafe on our checklist.

Concealed behind Shell petrol station on Raffa Place is The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, a relatively new cafe hidden away from the busy area of Carlton. ... It was hidden so well, it was just so.. "Melbourne".  But the cafe itself was definitely more than just "Melbourne"!

Behind those two grand doors is a micro-roaster, cafe and coffee retailer. You're met with a friendly welcome, which just warms you up instantly and your coffee expectations will definitely be met after you lay your eyes on the huge coffee grinder in the middle of the room.

From what was originally a stable, the beautiful, spacious area consisting of a transparent high ceiling, with sunlight pouring through is sure to impress you.

And if you're still not impressed, its innovative menu and food definitely will!

Scotch Egg ($21.00):
Cotechino, pig skin cracker, piccalilli mayonnaise, onion marmalade and brioche soldiers. 

First up is the Scotch egg!

The egg was cooked so perfectly with a golden, gooey centre and crispy exterior - perfect for dipping the toasted fluffy brioche soldiers into! The pork crackling was addictively airy and light yet so crunchy - so crunchy that you'll be conscious of other people staring as you eat. The cotechino sausage was extremely flavoursome and paired extremely well with the tangy spiced piccalilli mayonnaise and the sweet and savoury onion marmalade

Pancetta Wrapped Terrine ($19.00):
Pork, ham hock, black pudding, shiitake mushrooms, mizuna, bacon jam, toasted brioche.
For something meatier and all things porcine, there's the Pork Terrine. The terrine, which features pork, ham hock as well as black pudding is wrapped in a thick slice of pancetta. The black budding is rich, flavoursome and super soft, while the ham hock is just so tender, with a bit of a bounce and flavoured very well by the salty pancetta.

The shiitake mushrooms and sweet bacon jam offset the saltiness of the terrine while the toasted brioche was fluffy and a delightful break with the intense flavours of each component of the dish.

Smoked Ocean Trout ($21.00):
Curried arancini, soft duck egg, yogurt dressing, mango and chilli jam 

Where do I begin? I feel like I have to talk about every component of this dish because everything was just so spectacular.

I am a huge fan of fish dishes and this was no exception. The fish was incredibly tender - so tender that the trout flaked away with a gentle scrape of the fork and the level of smokiness was so on point. I could even smell the smokiness of my breath after several cups of water and berry mints. Give me more of this trout, please.

But the fish wasn't the only highlight. The curried arancini deserves to be another dish on it's own! I'm a huge fan of curry rice and when both are combined and deep fried into golden gems of crispy perfection and slathered with the creamy yogurt dressing, I can't imagine the curry and rice combo getting any better.

Three-quarters of a soft duck egg sat proudly on the plate, as you could clearly see how perfectly boiled it was. The golden yolk encased in the white was just threatening to ooze out with a slight prod of your fork.

Finally, there's the mango chilli jam. You're probably skeptical about the combination but, let me tell you - it is an amazing accompaniment to the whole dish. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish without making you feel heavy at all.

I don't think I've been this amazed and satisfied over a brunch in so long! There are still all the items on Vertue's food menu to try so this will be the first stop for me the next time I'm in Melbourne!
The Vertue of the Coffee Drink
8 Raffa Place
Carlton, VIC 3053
t: (03) 8060 6987

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Meet The Author

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Hi there! My name is Anna. I'm nineteen, in my second year of uni (UNSW) and born in Sydney. This blog is about my gastronomic adventures in Australia and abroad. It all started when I got new camera (Samsung Ex1) and since then, I've been mainly taking photos of food. So, I decided to document everything on this blog.

I'm still learning to take nice pictures - my camera isn't exactly the greatest but it works.

Oh, and I think we should get this out of the way (just in case you decide to unfriend me) I'm not a fan of chocolate or coffee. (Yes you saw right).

Anyway, enough about me - thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!