Piers Smart remembers his first introduction to coffee. His father brought home a coffee machine circa 1996, and he would stand on a milk crate alongside his father as they served festival goers at folk music events together.
Eventually outgrowing his milk-crate post, Smart did stints at spots such as Cafe Racer, Coffee Darling and Little Ox until starting up his own place, Golden Child, nestled among the suburban streets of Glen Iris.
A joint venture with former Little Ox cafe right-hand woman Jenna Langton, and with close friend Tim Fetherston as head chef, the trio have tweaked an unlikely combination – Italian-Chinese fusion – to hook locals with. The menu has unexpectedly tasty items such as a lightly crumbed, tender steak sandwich layered with cheddar, Napoli sauce, and an interesting flavorsome combo of kewpie mayonnaise and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce. Another menu favorite is Langtons’ childhood staple of thin and crispy star-shaped pastry pretzels served alongside a warm pot of Asian pork mince, topped with chili, spring onion and a poached egg.
And for a Spanish-inspired sweet treat over the weekends, Fetherston brings a taste of Majorca to the suburbs in a collaboration with Miss Ladybird Cakes, serving jam-filled ensaïmadas pastries to pair with Brunswick-roasted Code Black coffee.
The stripped-back fit-out of exposed, white-washed brick walls and revamped original timber flooring emanates a minimalist, clean feel that is cosy and light.