July 24, 2011

76 Michael Street, Fitzroy North
I am always eager to expand my repertoire of cafes, and also to venture into suburbs I’m not familiar with, so when R put forth the idea of Mitte and Clifton Hill (technically it’s Fitzroy North but I’m not one for specifics), I jumped at the chance. Mitte, named after a suburb of Berlin, is housed in a white corner building, partly tiled on the outside, with a minimalist fit-out inside. Apparently it used to be the Communist Party headquarters in Melbourne. Interesting though its origins are, I find its current purpose much more to my liking.
The coffee, I was told, is fantastic here. Indeed my coffee was nice, but certainly not as amazing as many other places I’ve been to. Perhaps the barista was having an off day…
On the other hand, I thought the menu was really interesting; I could have easily picked five things and enjoyed them all. One feature on the menu at Mitte is poached eggs on toast, and you can pick from three (I hesitate to call them “sides”) accompaniments (although even that isn’t quite the right word):
  1. Middle eastern chickpeas bake, which I had, details below.
  2. Smoked salmon w salad of fennel, capers, spanish onion, apple + rocket, dill creme fraiche, lemon.
  3. Poached mushrooms (mix of porcini, shiitake, king oyster, button, swiss brown) cooked in porcini stock w wine, light sour cream, herb salad.
  4. Caesar style w garlic aioli, bacon, cos lettuce, parmesan, anchovies (ooh, there’s a brave person who has anchovies for breakfast).
They also do some fantastic sounding sweeter dishes like rhubarb + cinnamon loaf served w yogurt, hazelnuts and poached pears, or a Middle Eastern fruit compote w dried fruits, vanilla, cloves, orange blossom water, pistachios, almonds and yoghurt.

Salivation glands, prepare yourselves. R had her favourite from Mitte (lucky girl obviously comes here quite often), beetroot relish (a favourite vegetable of mine), Meredith goats feta, avocado, rocket, seseame seeds, all sandwiched between slightly toasted grain bread. When is came out, I suffered from a sudden and violent case of dish envy, thinking briefly that I should have ordered that instead. (Next time, Natalie, patience). Miss R was kind enough to offer me a bite – fantastically salty feta and the tang of the beetroot made this a very refreshing sandwich. Here’s the mouthwatering photo I took of it.

Cue salivation.

Despite my bout of dish envy, I quickly recovered when my plate was placed in front of me – poached eggs with a middle eastern chickpea bake topped with Meredith goats feta, herb + shallot salad w avocado on multigrain toast. This was quite a large meal, probably too much for breakfast, but perfect for a tasty and filling lunch.

I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, good taste plus the added bonus of high fiber and protein content. These were done in a slightly spicy tomato sauce, and the dressing on the salad was lovely and lemony. When even the garnish salad tastes good, you know you’ve hit a winner.

The eggs were nicely poached, avocado perfectly ripened (v important), and there was a delicious crumble of large salt flakes and cracked pepper on top. I’ve always thought a good dose of S+P can really lift the flavour of a simple ingredient like avocado. Journal on Flinders Lane does a fantastic version of avocado on toast (must blog about that place, but I never seem to have my camera on me when I’m there), done simply with a good crunch of salt and pepper, and a wedge of lemon.

But back to Mitte, I really enjoyed it, I thought it was reasonably priced, especially seeing as I got such a large and filling plate of delicious food. And I’d gladly come back to have that sandwich!

Mitte on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Brunch, Clifton Hill, Coffee