Cam Milne and Alex Kathage are the two friends and long-time housemates behind Vvaldmeer. The name comes from a German term meaning “forest sea”. The Germanic vibe is certainly there in the cafe – in the light-filled minimalist fit-out, but also the confident precision that hums underneath Vvaldmeer’s relaxed and friendly service.
The menu is short, simple and special. The Forrester’s Delight is a straightforward mix of mushrooms and asparagus on toast. The huevos rancheros pares down an often overly rich breakfast to its deliciously simple components: good eggs, spicy tomato sauce, corn tortillas and queso fresco. Vegetarian and vegan options such as sticky black rice pudding with goji berries and pandan crumble make up more than half the menu.
Pastries are from Danny’s Bread, with the rest of the sweets made in-house (including one culinary contribution from Milne – a Scando-inspired cheesecake recipe made with Quark).
When it came to choosing which roasters to stock, more than a decade of barista work taught Milne bigger was almost never better. In the end, both Cleanskin and First Fruits roasters fit the bill, with Cleanskin’s crowd-pleasing Saint blend being the main milk espresso coffee, and the signature Forest Sea from First Fruits giving the filter and cold brew a more subtle flavour of dried fruit and nutmeg.