Port of Call
Just a few minutes walk from Sandringham Beach, you’ll find a bright cafe occupying what was formerly a real estate agency.
Port of Call is filled with bayside locals, which is to be expected from the team behind some of Melbourne’s most popular cafes: Touchwood, Tall Timber, Coin Laundry, and Carnegie’s Left Field and Elwood’s Plain Sailing.
But even if you didn’t know its pedigree, Port of Call is inviting on its own merits. Spacious and warm, it manages to feel contemporary and fresh but also comfortable.
The interior is light and bright thank to materials not used in the other venues, such as colourful floor tiles and green upholstery, mixed in with old favourites: terrazzo, blackbutt timber.
Together with interior designer Fiona Drago, co-owners Steve Rowley, Matthew Vero, Kerrie Townley and Ryan Lording embarked on a significant amount of structural work to open up the building’s rear to let the morning light in, which has paid off.
Fans of Plain Sailing and Left Field will be happy here, food-wise, but they’ll also find new additions on a menu conceived by co-head chefs Rachel Jones and Kristy Turner, who were sous chefs at Plain Sailing.
Spiced pumpkin waffles – topped with a dollop of citrus mascarpone and encircled by a ring of seeds, fresh berries and edible petals – and a dish of pea and zucchini fritters have been early hits. Come lunch, try the vegetarian fried cauliflower tacos loaded with avocado, charred cauliflower purée, daikon, pickled onion, herb slaw and crispy shallots.
The customer base is diverse, from commuters grabbing a takeaway coffee as they run for the train, to mums having brunch, to older Sandringham locals.