Back in the day, to be a successful cafe you just had to serve good coffee and perfect poached eggs. Now, you’ve got to innovate. At least, some owners think so.
Sometimes these inventions work well (Melbourne is the home of the “magic” coffee and the “cruffin”), but sometimes they quietly wither and die, forever a footnote on Melbourne’s menu history.
Here are three new weird items just introduced to Melbourne menus. Will we still be eating them in 10 years – or even next week?
The dessert burger
Long Story Short Cafe in Port Melbourne has just added a dish that features a puff of pink fairy floss bigger than your head. Pour a jug of coconut milk over the top, and the sweet cloud melts to reveal a sweet brioche bun loaded with fruit, jelly, gelato, popping candy and white-chocolate and matcha sauce.
If you can get through this, you can get through anything.
400 Gradi’s Johnny di Francesco has already proved he can do the simple things well (his margherita pizza was judged best in the world in 2014), so he definitely has licence to experiment now.
A few months ago, 400 Gradi put out a 99-cheese pizza for National Cheese Pizza Day (which apparently does exist).
For World Pasta Day on October 25, di Francesco is putting on a chocolate tagliatelle with honey and mascarpone, topped with pistachio and meringue.
It’s the final dish in a three-course, pasta-only menu available on the day for $55 at all four 400 Gradi locations – Crown, Brunswick East, Eastland and Essendon.
We’ve seen green, yellow, red, blue … and now black. (For what it’s worth, we really think baristas nailed lattes the first time with “brown”). Available at both White Mojo cafes in the CBD and in Balwyn, this latest blackish-grey concoction is made from a paste of ground black-sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds and topped with steamed soy milk.
You can also try Matcha Mylkbar’s version over in St Kilda.