Collective Espresso

March 3, 2012

3 Cookson St, Camberwell
I had lunch here aaaages ago with my friend C, while we were in the middle of exams. Our rather pathetic and energy/enthusiasm depleted conversation went something like this:
“How’s it going?”
“Have you read that chapter on the Black Scholes Model for pricing options involving dividends?”
“Nup. Twenty pages is far too excessive for me. How’d your economics exam go?”
“Ugh. Why is Keynes such a bitch?”But our moods were brightened and conversation benefitted from some yummy food and caffeine-heavy drinks at Collective Espresso, the latest place where the young minds of Camberwell hang out.

The room is dominated by an impossibly long communal table that stretches from the front door all the way to the back wall. I said “young minds” earlier because the place was seriously dominated by young people (< 30), but then again I suppose the owners are young so it makes sense they’d attract that crowd. A nice place with a relaxed vibe.

My only criticism is that it was difficult to get the wait staff’s attention. So often they’d whizz past us, eyes glazed over, and it took quite an effort to order my coffee after our meal.

To kick start the meal, I had a BAM juice: blueberry, apple and mint. Rather delicious and rather appropriately named (as in, BAM, you’re awake now! Not, BAM, that was god awful!)

Although having said that, the makeshift flower vase on our table had me yearning for something else…

It took me quite a while to peruse the menu, which is very long and filled with delicious sounding dishes. Pork belly, red cabbage, almond, pepitas, sultana and apple puree sandwich, anyone? C chose another of their bready things, a focaccia with chorizo, romesco, spinach and feta, which he said was tasty. Certainly the the bread looked nice and chewy.

I couldn’t quite go past the avo and feta mash with dill, EVOO and poached eggs on multigain. Simple but effective. I wasn’t sure about the dill, but it worked, and the eggs were nicely poached. Two teeny tiny issues – some pieces of the toast were burnt and the dish needed extra salt and pepper. But apart from that it was nice.

To finish let me say that the coffee here is excellent, my double ristretto flat white was strong and deep. Let’s face it, no one likes a shallow coffee. Collective is an excellent spot to enjoy some lunch and a good cup, and given its location outside the Camberwell railway station, I’m sure they’ll be plenty popular with the local crowd!

Lastly, I was recently made aware of this wonderful tumblr, just poached, whose writer, for consistency purposes, only orders poached eggs. I commend them – if the comparison of cafes were a scientific experiment, they’d win holding the most variables constant. It’s sort of like my policy of trying out only red velvet flavour from cupcake places. Do check it out.

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Filed under: Brunch, Camberwell, Coffee