First a milk bar, then a home, then an artists’ studio and now a cafe – Essendon’s Form is a culinary oasis in Melbourne’s northwest. The fit-out is airy, clean, crisp and white. Think American Apparel catalogue meets Scandinavian design house.

It’s intimate without being overcrowded – the only sardines packed in here are the ones on the menu (Shane’s Sardines is one of more popular dishes). But there are plenty of other options to choose from, including the Scottish-inspired cheese and onion square and the rich braised capsicum and chilli poached eggs. There’s also a strong focus on sustainability; compostable plates are used in an effort to minimise water usage.

The lovechild of owners Rob Cecchinelli and Jason Currie (both formerly of Ray), Form is sophisticated without being stark. While perhaps a little confronting at first, the monochromic interiors are offset by the familiarity that Form radiates. Knives and forks cluster in tomato soup tins, menus are scrawled on butchers’ paper and something like the Fugees soundtrack your Sunday brunch.

Locals no longer have to journey to Sydney Road for a decent meal in a contemporary space.

Updated: March 1st, 2018

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