65 Degrees Café
309 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Open: Mon – Fri 6am – 4pm
Breakfast in the CBD can sometimes be a bit difficult – especially during the New Year hiatus, when so many of our favourites are closed. I had stumbled upon 65 Degrees in my wanderings on UrbanSpoon – it had a pretty high approval rating at 89% – in addition they roast their own coffee, and they open at 6am in the morning!! I decided we should check it out…
Most excellent friend R and I were quite excited… we don’t often venture from our tried and true breakfast haunts. We were filled with anticipation – could this be another great find??? We located ourselves a table in the back of the café – and were presented with menus while waiting for our coffees.
The coffee was quite good, and you can see that the crema was just the right density. I heard that if you’re lucky, you’ll get coffee art – but not today.
Here’s the fire engine red coffee roaster – as we arrived someone was bagging up freshly roasted coffee – which they then sell in the shop and online. So, if you’re looking for a place you can pick up a fresh (and I mean fresh) bag – this might be the place!
I was planning to order the fritters until I saw they also had hotcakes on the menu – but thankfully most excellent friend R ordered the fritters and said I could have a taste – which solved the dilemma! The corn fritters come with an option of three sides from quite a reasonable list – including, as you can see here, poached eggs, smoked salmon and avocado. From memory you could also have spinach, tomatoes or mushrooms. The fritters were quite nice – but probably could have had a bit more fresh corn, as they were a little on the doughy side. The relish comes already on the fritters – so if you want it separate, make sure you order it on the side.
Being the consummate researcher – I really didn’t have much of a choice – I had to order the hotcakes. The things I have to do for you dear readers!! So, I ordered the hotcakes… To be honest – when these came out – I wasn’t overwhelmed. I thought the presentation was a bit pedestrian – however, it the mix of flavours was actually quite good. The sweet tartness of the lemon curd was gently subdued by the creamy marscapone, and the fresh fruit added a lighter, “healthier” element. The hotcakes themselves had chuncks of ricotta throughout – but unfortunately, on the whole, were a bit pasty and floury – almost as though they had been undercooked. Alas – this means that they are not in the running for best pancakes in Melbourne. And it also means I am still on the hunt for good pancakes in the CBD!!
Overall – we had a pleasant enough experience at 65 Degrees. We didn’t have any problems with the service, although I note that this has been an issue in some other reviews. The ambience is good – especially the dining space at the back which is a bit quieter, and out of the way of the constant stream of people getting their coffee. However, whilst this is just a small gripe, I thought the furniture was poor quality – it felt “flimsy” and cheap. It did the job though – so maybe I’m being pernickety. Given the quality of the food, which was just OK, I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to eat here again. I’d rather try my luck elsewhere at this stage – you never know where the next “great find” will be…