Pancakes at Milkwood

120 Nicholson Street
Brunswick East  Vic  3057
03 9380 4062
Open: Mon – Fri  7:30am – 4:30pm (except Tue – closed); Sat – Sun 8am – 4pm
No website

Situated on a rather busy, non-descript stretch of Nicholson Street, where the number 96 tram terminates, Milkwood is nothing short of a surprise and a delight. It is just about one of the most gorgeous cafés I have walked into in a long time.  Every little detail has been thoughtfully decided, and the result is a beautiful, light filled, relaxing space.  The photo (above), actually doesn’t do it justice – because you can’t really tell from the outside just how charming it is on the inside.

The place is decked out in white paint and blond wood – providing a lovely, warm atmostphere. As soon as I sat down, I was presented with the menu and this mini enamel jug –  how gorgeous is that?  Of course, I already knew what I was having – pancakes.

3/4 Flat White

This was the café’s first day back after having a wee Christmas break – and it was clear, they were missed. Person after person came in to get their morning coffee… many of them greeted warmly (one was even hugged!).  I ordered my 3/4 flat white – and it was fantastic.  So fantastic, I think I ended up having two.  Unusual for me, unless the coffee is outstanding!   So, I could see what all the fuss was about.

Finally… the pancakes arrived…

Ricotta pancakes with banana, coconut,
vanilla bean syrup and yoghurt

Oh my goodness!  People – this was a taste of dining nirvana!  First of all – the serving is incredibly generous.  There are three decent sized pancakes (about 13 cm across). The pancakes were moist and flecked with ricotta.  On the outside they had been caramelised to a golden brown, and had some nice crispness around parts of the edge. The accompaniments were amazing – the banana was fresh and creamy, while the yoghurt was zingy and fresh. The vanilla bean syrup was sweet without being cloying, and added a real fragrant note to the dish, while the toasted coconut added an amazing (can I underline amazing) crunch and texture.  This was definitely a dish where the whole exceeded the sum of its parts. Everything came together and just sang.

At one stage, I paused because I had flashbacks of “licking the bowl” – you know… when your Mum used to make a cake, and she said you could lick the bowl.  I think it must have been the vanilla in the syrup, but it also could have been the fact that I felt so indulged eating this dish – I felt lucky – as though I was in the right place at the right time – I “got the bowl”.  The dish was decadently rich and beautiful, with a gorgeous, fragrant note. A definite contender for Melbourne’s top 5 pancakes!

The service was also fantastic, low key yet always present – I was served with warm smiles, and generosity – you can’t ask for more than that.

For those of us who like a rambling cycle, this café qualifies as a worthwhile stop if you’re doing the Capital City Trail – it’s only 1.4 km from the trail, straight up Nicholson Street (you would hop off the trail where Velo Cycles is).  It is definitely worth the detour! And the trail will help you burn off the calories from those pancakes!!

However, even if you’re not cycling – you should check this café out – it is a real beauty.

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