ph. 03 9690 6752
Love... love me do, you know I love you....for many people in Melbourne, not enough praise can be sung for South Melbourne’s Cafe Sweethearts. Basking in the sun with large glass windows set for a view of a lake lined with weeping willows, this cafe looks like it belongs in Daylesford – quite the contrast from other Melbourne haunts that pride themselves on their dark alluring hidden locations, emo-pop wait staff in order to manifest that much publicised Melbourne cafe culture.
Walking into Sweethearts you are greeted by wait-staff who acknowledge you with a smile then hastily run back to the counter, mutter amongst themselves and then in a cool calm collected manner graciously seat you at your table which can take the form of bar seats over looking Coventry Street or wooden tables against cushion seated walls – so country. Cosily placed on my cushion seat with my coffee order already in the system it was time to relax.
The gentle vibe of Sweethearts suits itself to brunch out with grandma and mum, visiting parents or a place to meet people who you don’t know so well –it won’t offend anyone and you can be assured the food will win hearts over.
Spanning over 4 pages the brunch menu exhausts all egg combinations known to man...and chicken. Everything from Benedict with ham, with salmon, with avocado to scrambled eggs on rye with this that and the next thing. They even managed to put a fried egg on the Lumberjack Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup.
A table favourite was the Eggs Benedict with Avocado. Essentially an English muffin split, toasted, topped with a couple of slices of avo followed by two very oozy bright poached eggs –Taa-da! Not rocket science but simple and fresh. The one thing I did however struggle with and have done many times before is; when they make the eggs that god-dam runny do they really think that a measly English muffin is going to soak it all up? Am I really expected to just say sayonara to all that delicious egg yolk on my plate? Maybe cafes should start a movement where they leave left over crusts in a basket on your table for you to mop up residual yolk. Genius.
The sweet pancakes are made with oat providing a great nutty taste – clearly egg whites have been well whipped before going into the batter to make a very light cake. The serving size is generous as is the side jug of thick maple syrup. If you are only looking for a little indulgence I would suggest opting for daily baked muffins on the counter. It would be ignorant to dismiss Sweethearts as an egg and pancake shop only; spinach and herb polenta, roesti and fruit toast and muesli/porridge variations also adorn the menu.
If I was to sum Cafe Sweethearts up in one word I would say consistent; consistently good coffee, consistently fresh ingredients, consistent service – consistent stream of customers. It is not the cheapest in town, nor the funkiest – we are talking a beige decor here. However like your first love, no one forgets Cafe Sweethearts and everyone likes to visit their ol’ sweetheart once and a while.