Tag Archives: breakfast

it only takes seven seeds to yield visits aplenty

I miss Alex.

Seven Seeds interior

There, I admitted it.

Months and months of trawling through random bits of paper and I found a (deliberately) silly poem I wrote about Lenin, Russia and global warming on a receipt. On the other half, I found coffee blends and single origins he’d recommended to me and realised I missed him quite a bit, despite having seen a fair bit of him for some serious fat bastardry in Hong Kong this January just passed (he’s actually a killer karaoke singer – wouldn’t have picked that).

Though Alex looks to give the impression that he’d be the first person in the world to possibly accidentally offend you, one of the things I’ve always admired about him is that if you straight-up say “I have no knowledge of <insert appropriate topic here>” then he is happy to share the knowledge he’s acquired in said area.

I’d initially met him at a Libertine pigfest that I’d somehow successfully managed to arrange and so we got to chat more via that dreaded microblogging social platform and confessed, look, I can’t drink a lot of coffee due to side effects of meds AND idiot IBS, but I want to learn more. Care to help a nigga out?

Seven Seeds, back counter

Thus, he took me to Seven Seeds and my coffee initiation begun.

Seven Seeds counter

I think that date we had four or so coffees each – I had as much as I knew my body would handle – espresso, the Magic (a double ristretto in case Courtney crucifies me for referring to it as thus), Clover, long black.

the 'magic'

Clover coffee

Man, why didn’t Seven Seeds exist when I was actually still at bloody uni? No matter, I was stuck in a soulless job just round the corner (though many of my bosses and coworkers were rad) and it became my pre-work ritual to pick up a soy Magic with the SS house blend. Pretty sure that their soy Magics are what kept me sane. I remember negotiating door, takeaway coffee and various things in hands and once dropping said takeaway coffee on floor. People from another project rushed to my aid but it wasn’t the humiliation, it was the sheer loss of wondrous caffeine goodness that I most lamented. Screw my dignity.

squee! bikes!

On the more common occasions, I’d show up with a grin (don’t worry, the grin wouldn’t be around for too long after), sipping my precious. “Where did you get that?” my favourite team leader would ask. “Oh, Seven Seeds, just up the road a bit…” and after explaining just how far, it was vetoed as a work coffee run place due to being too far.

Oh, did I mention they do great nibblies too? I never feel lonely eating here by myself – the staff are always so lovely and happy to explain the coffee to you till the moment of epiphany hits. Here’s one of the heartier baked beany type meals I had. Infinite comfort food.


If you want something more breakfasty rather than brunchy, then how about granola?

granola with berry compote and honeyed yoghurt

Or if you’ve survived an onslaught with the public and private health system (as I seem to be doing of late) and are feeling like a treat, then go with the special of the day – smoked salmon, radish, red onion, watercress, rocket and mixed salad with creme fraiche dressing – salut, Monsieur Decadence.

smoked salmon, radish, red onion, watercress, rocket and mixed salad with creme fraiche dressing

If you can’t eat in, then why not grab a takeaway coffee and some delectable snacky-wacks? I admit these were initially chosen due to their looks but they most certainly did not disappoint. You can see they are divided exactly down the middle so no one has to fight for their share…

flourless mandarin cake & hummingbird cake with takeaway coffee

It’s not just a Carlton institution, it’s a coffee institution. Still feels weird to visit now that Alex isn’t in Melbourne anymore, but it’s a treasured haunt.

just general Seven Seeds prettiness

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

back to school…sort of

I’ve not been blogging much of late as the stress of the festive season caught up with me a little. I’ve also been laid off and trips for wonderful culinary experiences are limited due to severe lack of funds. However, of late a bunch of us have been meeting for pre-work coffees, well, for those who have jobs at least. For me, it’s been a post-yoga treat.

The current barista at our chosen spot isn’t too friendly (admittedly, just with me) so on this particular day when I found out Tristan and possibly J wasn’t able to make it to our morning coffee date, I decided to hit up Earl Canteen.

It was closed! Gasp!

Not to worry, the fairly new Tuck Shop came to the rescue.

Tuck Shop sign

It’s situated inside 500 Bourke Street unlike Earl which is in the courtyard. It’s a pretty stylish set-up with cute touches. There is also lots of seating. Here’s a view with just a little of the seating on show.


My Dickensian (only by food blog wankster standards, let’s face it) allowed for some organic yoghurt with berries and compote: mouth-puckeringly sour berries were a lovely mix with the creamy, slightly sweet yoghurt. Pretty bloody generous serving too! I love the sturdy wooden spoons.

organic yoghurt with berries and compote

I ordered a soy latte, reasoning that if it was okay, I’d go a long black next time (yep, thinking of future ‘research’ trips already). Wonderfully strong and not sure what soy milk they’re using but was glad the coffee cut through it. Sometimes soy milk is a little too rich. Pretty annoying I have to drink it at all but whatcha gonna do when you’ve got pesky Asian genes. In any case, silly me, as if Sensory Lab coffee is going to let people down!

pretty soy latte

I’m looking forward to trying the more substantial items on the menu – namely the chickpea offering. The school cafeteria all grown up! I didn’t have one of those at my schools in Australia and am more used to the British ones which served you slop or other unhealthy things. Even the Doctor doesn’t trust those chips… I still remember being served a revolting custard-rhubard slush which looked horrible, but tasted passable! Kind of amusing to think that 75p in an envelope could feed you for a week though!

Also, is it my imagination or is the previously very businessy-not-foodie end of the Melbourne CBD getting radder? I’m finding myself alighting at Flagstaff Station more in the last few months to seek out good food and beverages.

a world first?! a real-time review…

Given I have nothing better to do than review places on my Saturday mornings (who am I kidding, eating food and writing about it is pretty damn rad), I thought I’d mix it up. I’d try a potentially new and novel approach to a review, a real-time review! While I’m not live streaming my breakfast — even I’m not that inane — I thought I’d start reviewing the place I’m having breakfast at while I’m eating said breakfast.

So, here I am, in Dexter cafe in Clifton Hill, with a cafe latte, It’s 9:53am. This is now my second time here, both visits due to the proximity of Ms G’s yoga class. The first time I came in I was really taken by the staff. Friendly and attentive, without being overbearing or ‘hovering’ over your table. Unfortunately the this visit was brief, and I only had time for a coffee.
So when Ms G asked me to drive her to yoga and she suggested I pop back into Dexter for some nosh I was taken by the idea.

Now, back to the narrative. I arrived, dumped my crummy MacBook with the five minute battery-life, and asked where the power points were. As you can see from this photo, I was literally next to them. However in true Tristan form, I had missed them completely. Coffee was ordered and delivered with a smile. A really solid latte using Coffee Supreme was delivered.

Before the bringer of life (aka my coffee toting waiter) ducked off, I ordered the chorizo, asparagus, avocado and tomato salsa with balsamic vinegar. As I type these sentences I am eating it. Really quite nice. All the right texture contrasts are present: soft and slightly spicy chorizo, crunchy asparagus and creamy avocado. The avocado’s (in cahoots with the poached egg) creaminess really cut through the bite of the balsamic vinegar. I will be getting this again.
Whilst in the middle of my self-indulgent blog post spree a fellow diner singled my dish out, “What’s he having, it looks really good!”. Her waiter then lovingly described the dish and offered to remove the chorizo for her (to make it vegetarian). While in this day and age of vegan/tarians and food allergies, menu variations shouldn’t be hard to come by. Despite this I am  still surprised by the irritation some diners can be greeted with by venue owners, treating some customers as inconveniences rather than the valuable word-of-mouth advertisers they can be. I am pleased to say there wasn’t a trace of this at Dexter.

Now that I’d managed to take up an hour and a half eating ‘n’ typing, Ms G had arrived. She ordered the smoked salmon and asparagus with a grapefruit hollandaise. I have my suspicions her choice was based on recent hankerings for fish, but that’s another story. Gem wasn’t as taken with her dish as I was mine — not sure of the freshness of the asparagus, and a being a bread ‘woosie’, found the bread a little chewy. I must agree with her that the bread was a little too chewy, but I am less bothered by something like that.

Gemma was, however most taken with Dexter’s beer choices, being predominately Victorian micro brew selection. It was a damn shame I was playing it respectable and being designated driver, else I’d be boozing it up.

A lovely friendly cafe with snappy service, that plays Radiohead (as well as some other questionable music). If you ever find yourself with time to spare on in Clifton Hill on Queens parade, pop on in.

Dexter Bar & Cafe on Urbanspoon