An inattentive glance at the exterior of Butcher 128 would let you think it can supply your weekly proteins. Actually, it’s a cafe.
Owner Donnie Lam left much of the original façade and signage untouched in an effort to preserve the history of the Yarraville building. Inside, the old meat case is still in use.
Meaty options are present on the menu, but that’s where the legacy ends. The “butchers board” is a refined ploughman’s, featuring housemade pâté, double brie, chorizo, pastrami and pickled veg.
This might be complemented by lighter options such as gingerbread (it’s really more like cake), Persian eggs and a selection of fresh sandwiches. Vietnamese influences are also present, thanks to the cultural background of Donnie and brother/head chef Leon Lam.
Wander out the back, and the space flows from chic cafe to a spacious, family friendly patio. There’s a small sand pit strategically placed to keep kids distracted while parents enjoy their coffee.
Espresso is pulled on a Synesso, with beans supplied by The Maling Room.