It feels like you’ve stumbled upon a secret when you arrive at Cam’s Kiosk – Cameron Miller’s lo-fi cafe by day and sleek restaurant by night – in a wing of the Abbotsford Convent. Its rotating lunch-hour staples, Italian-style dinners and sleek and intimate interiors have kept this all-day spot humming since 2009.
On weekdays, locals and workers flock here for its pared-back breakfast menu, which might list granola with poached fruits or a confit leek and provolone toastie. Around midday, the tight, daily-rotating lunch menu comes out, and might feature a hearty veggie soup, loaded sandwich or seasonal salad. Plus, coffee from Growers Espresso in Fitzroy North all day.
At night, the lights dim and Cam’s transforms into a sleek diner and wine bar where you can easily lose a few hours. You might order a handful of comforting share plates for the table, like a charcuterie plate, mussels steeped in a tomato and chilli sauce with fennel, spaghetti Napoli with buffalo mozzarella, or risotto with parmesan, broad beans and bottarga. Dessert is always simple: a fluffy tiramisu using a recipe from Miller’s friend Ramona.
The 30-odd wine list comprises local and international bottles, and there’s always a handful of options by the glass. The list might feature local drops from Beechworth’s Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown, Yarra Valley’s Coombe, and Castlemaine’s Little Reddie. Plus, beers and classic cocktails.
Miller designed and built the timber-heavy fit-out over years – from the padded timber booths to the long bar that snakes along the open kitchen. Move through and you’ll also find the adjacent St Heliers Street Gallery – which exhibits shows by local artists – and a leafy courtyard that looks out onto a quiet garden in the Convent.
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