Sydney Road is undergoing something of a facelift. Everywhere you look, previously dingy and disused spaces are coming alive to house a wave of bright new dining spots (think: Albert St Food and Wine). The strip’s addition is Maddox, refitted from scratch by Perth couple Marsha Salam and Brendon James.

Their first independent endeavour is named after their young nephew, who’s “a really cool kid,” says Salam. "And we want other cool kids to come here too.” The two collaborated across the entire refit, says Salam, which she designed, and James built. “We kept the kitchen open, so when you come in for a coffee, you get the smell of freshly baked banana cake, and me saying ‘hello’ while icing it."

Flowing through two rooms, a raw aesthetic is accentuated by crisp, black accents, with wooden tables and vintage office chairs reworked into comfortable bench seats. A roughly sanded feature wall pays homage to occupants past, revealing layers of paint from its various incarnations.

Menu-wise, Salam’s childhood spent in Qatar shines through, with offerings like buttered eggs with spiced yoghurt, pink onions, chilli and mint. Almost everything is, or can be vegan or vegetarian, with additions like honey-glazed bacon still available as optional extras. Soy takes pride of place alongside top-shelf lactose-free milk, and their breakfast menu is overflowing with gluten-free goodness. Before you leave, be sure to say hi to Duncan the Shubunkin – a very sassy fish that watches over the back-room diners.

Maddox
295 Sydney Road, Brunswick
(03) 9041 5660

Hours
Tues to Fri 9am–4pm
Sat 8am–4pm
Sun 9am–4pm