Bayside booty: Parlor Milkbar and Kitchen. Photo: Ken Irwin
Where and what
Hidden away in a largely residential part of Beaumaris, down near the Royal Melbourne golf course, Parlor Milkbar and Kitchen is something of a bayside secret, given its locale (it's a 20-minute walk from the nearest train station) but is always crowded. Initially a breakfast and lunch venue, it's now open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and occasionally hosts live music.
There's no seawater in sight yet the vibe is distinctly beachy - outside it's shady trees and tea-tree scrub and inside the decor is white-washed and feels a bit like you're in a cosy coastal town.
Adding to that feel is the range of locally made homewares on display (and for sale), the friendly service and the Parlor's loyal local crowd, many of whom seem to know each other.
Where to sit
Pappardelle, slow-cooked pork ragu with tomatoes, herbs and white wine sauce. Photo: Ken Irwin
The deck out the front seats quite a few and in summer this is the coveted spot. Even on cooler days it's lovely among the trees, and blankets are supplied at the tables - a quintessentially Melbourne cafe concept. Inside there's a big communal table and smaller tables in the main room, then there's a small, sunny room at the rear, opening onto a courtyard.
Along with coffee (made with Jonesy's milk) and teas, there are a range of juices and a small, local wine list (mostly from South and Western Australia), and a selection of cocktails. Along with your standards - mojitos, cosmopolitans and the like - there are some wacky house-made concoctions, like the ''cleansing root'', made from beetroot, apple, lemon, lime, tabasco, ginger and vodka, which doubles as a genuinely healthy juice, if you omit the vodka.
Breakfast runs until 4pm every day, and features favourites such as French toast with caramelised bananas, pears, mascarpone and rose water syrup ($14.50), the classic BLT ($11.50/$14 with egg, avocado or cheese), corn fritters with avocado and corn salsa ($16), and the popular ''Ahoy there'', poached eggs with house-cured salmon, hollandaise and potato rosti ($18.50) alongside some surprises, like the exotically named ''breakfast tiramisu'', layered poached pear and apple between fresh fruit and Italian ladyfinger biscuits ($13). Lunch, from noon, is a mix of sandwiches (open reuben, $11; pull-apart pork on brioche, $13.50; chicken schnitzel, $14.50 and the intriguing slow-cooked lamb served in a quinoa roll, $14.50) to hearty dishes such as the generous pappardelle with pork ragu ($21), housemade gnocchi ($22), and the Parlor beef burger, made with marinated beef and served with aged cheddar and caramelised onion on a brioche bun ($20), lifting it above your standard burger. If you can't make a decision, there's the Parlor tasting board. There's also a kids' menu.
A real cross-section from bayside retirees to young families and couples. Dogs welcome, but not on the deck.
Feel like you're on a beachside holiday without leaving the 'burbs.
- 03 9515 4514
- Cuisine - Modern Australian
- Opening Hours - Monday-Wednesday, 7.30am-5pm; Thursday-Friday 7.30am-11pm; Saturday 8.30am-11pm and Sunday 8.30am-5pm.
- Author - Kylie Northover