Don’t you love it when you can walk to work – in my new job, 3 days a week I walk to West Melbourne – and as luck would have it I walk right past the Basement Cafe. So, in the interests of research and survival preparedness (for those days when porridge and plain toast just won’t cut it) – I thought I’d better check it out.
The Basement has been in the Cheap Eats book for a number of years – so I thought that was a good start. But without a website, or an online menu to peruse – I went in there a bit blind one morning. The interior is half underground… if that makes sense – so it has a very groovy, hip feel to it. And probably explains the name!
The menu is written up on a simple blackboard – it shows a reasonable variety of dishes, with a range of extras to make that breakfast dish uniquely yours!!
Let’s just say that the coffee is good here – and there seemed to be a steady stream of punters coming in the door to get their regular fix. I even had two, which I consider a great indicator!
Avocado, feta, cherry tomatoes, fresh mint & rocket on sourdough
The first time I went to Basement, I tried the avocado with cherry tomatoes and mint, feta and rocket. I make a version of this at home – just with the avocado, cherry tomatoes and mint – and I love it! That was probably my first mistake – you should never order what you make for yourself at home – because inevitably you’ve tweaked it to your own version of perfection, and nothing is ever going to match it! There was nothing wrong with the elements in this version – just in their proportions. For me, there was way too much rocket – and not enough avocado.
So… the second time I went – I decided I would go the simpler option. Just avocado on toast. This was much better for me – simple, clean, unadulterated – and hard to mess up the proportions. There are three medium slices of dense, seedy sourdough – generously smeared (say about 1/2 cm) with smashed avocado. It’s not piled high – but it’s enough. That, and another cup of their good coffee set me up for the day.
And even if you thought you would like more – why not add some bacon, or chorizo, or tomato to the avocado on toast! I’m sure they’d be accommodating!
Basement Café doesn’t set out to rock your world – but it does ensure your world gets off to a good start. You won’t want to be rushing there for the special brunch – there are other cafés out there for that. But if you want a good basic breakfast, a good cup of coffee, and plenty of fresh papers – then this could be the place.