I was speaking to a friend a few nights ago at the newly opened Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford about coffee and cafes in Melbourne, and I was asked where to recommend for that friends upcoming Sunday brunch. I went blank, I didnt know where to suggest. I feel there's been such an influx of great cafes over the last six to twelve months that its hard to pinpoint where is the best place to visit these days. One place that hit the nail on the head that I suggested was St. Edmonds which I visited recently.
Located just off Greville Street in the southside suburb of Prahran, St. Edmonds is the brainchild of Adam Wilkinson. Wilkinson took what was the shell of an old garage space and converted it into something that really stands apart from the rest of the cafes that are dotted around the surrounding area. I had been meaning to try the place for a while and as I had promised to catch up with some friends for brunch, I thought why not kill two birds with the one stone and check it out.
Wilkinson was the original owner of Woodstock in Armadale and founded the city-based café Small World. Much of the credit for the overall design of the cafe is given to Projects of Imagination, a design and media company Wilkinson has worked with for 10 years and with the folks north of the river knocking out some fantastic spots over the last few years in Fitzroy and Collingwood, the team at St. Edmonds were keen to create something equally special - with top notch coffee, food and service. One just has to notice the small details around the cafe to notice how much thought and imagination has gone into this place. One aspect of the interior that I immediately loved was the pegs on the wall behind the coffee machine, used for hanging the Scanlan & Theodore designed denim aprons.
I've been to a few of the cafes around the area recently and nothing really stood out for me. Fog was a bit of a disappointment, Ladro was one of the least impressive italian joints I had been to in Melbourne but Dukes Coffee Roasters, just around the corner on Chapel Street always knocks out great coffee and superb food.
The menu at St. Edmonds was really good and it ticked all the boxes for those of us there that day. Whether you were craving a good breakfast dish, a hearty sandwich or something sweet - it was all there. I deliberated over a few of the dishes, eventually picking the slow cooked lamb ciabatta with harissa. Both Sarah and Kevin ordered poached eggs, sautéed mushrooms and ham hock on toasted sourdough. Initally, there was little bit of food envy on my part but after one tiny bite of my slow cooked lamb ciabatta I was in heaven.
Another great part of the morning, was bumping into an old friend of mine, Damon - who I met several years back when I first moved to Melbourne. Damon is a great barista and has worked in several great cafes around Melbourne and he was looking after things that day at St. Edmonds getting the coffees absolutely perfect.
I'm not usually one to order sandwiches for breakfast or brunch, but I cannot express how much I loved the slow cooked lamb ciabatta. The meat was melt in your mouth good and the ciabatta itself was fresh and perfectly toasted. The others equally liked their dish and we all agreed that another trip to this place is definitely on the cards in the near future. St. Edmonds can be found at the rear of 154 Greville Street, Prahran and is situated close to Prahran train station.