The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink
The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink has one of the best reveals in town. After strolling through a petrol station car park and passing a dilapidated terrace, Vertue's historic timber doors suddenly loom large, crowned by a glorious old street lamp.
The space was originally a stable, and more recently, a house. With help from Two Design, owner Mike Cracknell converted the old brick building and a gravel carpark next door into one of Melbourne's more unique spaces in 2015.
Head chef Jess Allen (ex-Industry Beans) maintains a sophisticated menu, even by Melbourne cafe standards. There's lemon myrtle mousse with compressed apple, strawberry, finger lime and wattleseed granola; confit duck and lap cheong (Chinese sausage) omelette; and matcha waffle with confit pineapple, black sesame ice-cream, lime curd and vietnamese mint jelly. Each dish has a suggested drink pairing.
The other part of the venue – the old stable – is given over to a sizeable coffee bar and waiting area. Here you can can pick up homebrew paraphenalia, an almond croissant or other fancy pastry, or simple eyeball the buckets of freshly-roasted beans displayed under the counter. As you'd expect, batch brews, pour overs and other speciality coffee favourites are all available.