If you like toast, then say hello to your new happy place: Crompton Coffee. It’s not all there is to eat at the debut cafe from Nick Peters and Camron Green, but it’s the star.
There are seven varieties, five of which will rotate regularly. Right now, they include tahini and banana; ricotta and fig drizzled with honey; and pear, walnut and blue cheese. Traditionalists will dig the Vegemite on toast with optional grilled cheese, but we can’t imagine it’s much of a drawcard. All can be made gluten free.
It sounds a bit novelty, but it’s not, really. For the most part, Crompton exists for locals rushing past on their way to work, or strolling by on weekends. With most slices hovering around the $7‒$8 mark, the place is more about exploring the merits of a short, fast and affordable menu than pushing a gimmick.
It works well, thanks to the deft flavour combinations and high-quality ingredients, such as thick-sliced Rustica bread. You could make toast like this at home, but it wouldn’t be as nice. The unlimited refills of sparkling water and the good coffee are a bonus. (Green was a barista at Seven Seeds, Twenty & Six Espresso and Addict, among others). There are other food options too: fig and coconut muesli, a fruit plate, daily salads and baguettes.
The 20-seat space was created with the help of Edwards Moore architects. It’s a smart example of dado sensibility, with dark floors and padded chairs seguing to blonde plywood ceilings, giving the solid old corner site and adjoining courtyard a sense of reasonable size.
“We thought the whole Melbourne cafe look had been exploited a bit too much,” Green says. “We quite liked the idea of high-end retail being the theme for our space, rather than white tiles, dangling lights and Edison globes.”
With a vacant room upstairs and space to double the size of the courtyard, Crompton could soon grow. But even as the toast options and coffee suppliers rotate, Crompton’s menu will remain fast, simple and affordable.
380 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Fri 7am‒3pm
Sat & Sun 8am‒4pm