Toastface Grillah oozes as much cool as cheese from one of its toasties. Growing that reputation has always been on the cards – especially after the impromptu in-store gig by the iconic rapper who inspired the cafe’s name.
Since Ghostface Killah visited in late 2014, the Barrack Street grilled-cheese joint has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue, even copping mentions on MTV and in British music magazine NME. Toastface remained in contact with the Wu-Tang Clan member and even travelled to New York to look at potential leases.
“We got over there and scouted heaps of great locations in Chinatown on the Lower East Side,” says co-owner Alister Miles, “At the end of the day, though, it just didn’t suit us.”
This overseas jaunt is just one instance of Miles and business partner Marica Pastorelli turning down an opportunity to expand. The team always been about keeping things close to their hearts. So when Rob Mayberry (owner of Little Willy’s) suggested it take over Bookend, his nearby hole-in-the-wall kiosk, it was an “absolute no-brainer”.
Other than replacing the original coffee machine and sourcing a custom cash register from the States, the handover at 179 William Street was practically seamless. The only other thing the team needed was some banging signage (we doubt they struggled with this).
Like the space itself, the menu is a reduced version of Toastface Grillah. It features six of the 11 original combinations. Crowd-pleasers such as the Notorious B.A.G (bacon, apple, gouda), Shroomy Shroomy Ya (mushroom, spinach, double cheese, dijon) and the Feelin’ A Lil’ Chilli (a spicy jalapeno and paprika number) come highly recommended.
The sandwiches are prepared at Barrack Street and then toasted at the tiny two-by-two-metre site, where the only seating is alfresco. As at its older brother, the coffee beans come from Northbridge Coffee Roasters, with a range of cool refreshments on offer, too.
179 William Street, Northbridge
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm