With its wooden checkerboard tables, exposed kitchen and considered menu, The Merchants Guild has brought a sense of culinary and social purpose to Centre Road in East Bentleigh.

Opened by Mario Minichilli and Vincent Conti, the team behind the original Inkr7, the cafe has a sense of aesthetic that rises above its surrounds.

The food, prepared by chef and co-owner Paul Davies, is served in style – meals are presented on wooden platters, egg timers accompany teapots to ensure ideal brewing periods, and clever touches such as jalapeno pesto and rotating variations of hollandaise keep things interesting.

But it’s Minichilli and Conti’s famed Prana Chai that is the real calling card here. With the recipe carefully perfected after tastings around the globe, the aroma of this delicious blend will inspire you to forgo your usual coffee order in a heartbeat. You can even watch the team preparing the mix in-house.

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Updated: November 7th, 2016

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