Sensory Lab Collins Street

Tucked away in the recessed thoroughfare of an office building, Sensory Lab Collins Street feels like a secret uncovered. The streamlined design by Foolscap Studio – described “as a futuristic Japanese-meets-1950s-American diner” – gives a sense of the “high-tech”. Huge slabs of stainless-steel benches gleam like an Ajax ad, while a healthy dose of cork adds texture to the space.

Technology was also incorporated into the design, with sit-down patrons able to get their morning news fix from iPads fixed along the bar-style counters. For those on the go, a takeaway window – designed to emulate a “vending machine” – keeps service quick and efficient.

The food here is all about toast and it’s taken as seriously as the coffee. A huge, conveyor-belt style toaster dominates the counter, through which passes some of the best bread in Melbourne. Choose between slices from Irrewarra Sourdough, Dench Bakers or Tivoli Road Bakery. Condiments include Rooftop Honey, Jam Lady jams and 99th Monkey nut butters.

This is the fourth Sensory Lab location and opened in October 2016.