Melbourne's Mayday sends a message of safety

Safety first: Mayday cafe in Richmond.
Safety first: Mayday cafe in Richmond.  Photo: Eddie Jim

COVID-SAFE DINING

How do you judge a restaurant? In long-ago different-world February, I'd start with food, experience, story and context. But in November 2020? My answer is COVID-safety. If we don't keep corona quashed, we don't have restaurants at all. We are Melbourne. We know that better than anyone else in Australia.

With all our magnificent doughnut days, it's easy to think we are done. We aren't. London had a fun summer in restaurants. They're now locked down. In July, Prague held a "farewell party" to the pandemic. Their restaurants are closed again. Greece? Bouzouki over summer, now in hard lockdown with citizens required to send an SMS to the government for permission to leave home.

Breakfast taco with baked beans and fried egg.
Breakfast taco with baked beans and fried egg. Photo: Eddie Jim

My message? Enjoy our reopened restaurants but patronise those serving you safely and meet them more than halfway by cheerfully following the rules that keep us safe and open.

Mayday nails it. The five-year-old cafe is owned by Elisa Mariani and her brother Adam. She's a former home economics teacher who loves working on protocols and procedures. He's a longtime hospo guy. The cafe does great food.

Their breakfast taco is a colourful pile over a puffy wheat flatbread with smoky baked beans, jalapeno salsa, sweet pickled onion and runny fried egg.

Chia pudding is a taste of the tropics.
Chia pudding is a taste of the tropics. Photo: Eddie Jim

A coconut chia pudding with blackberries and a sesame wafer is a taste of the tropics we can't visit right now. The roasted broccoli salad with feta, crunchy seeds and green chilli zhoug has bags of flavour and texture.

The coffee is great, the juices are zingy and there are beers if you want to toast freedom.

The reason I could enjoy everything is because I felt safe. There's QR code check-in, sanitiser everywhere, tables well-spaced, number limits adhered to, guidance on masks (put it in your bag, not on the table), online menus and diligent cleaning. A nurse recently stopped in for coffee and gave them the thumbs up from a delighted 1.5 metres.

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COVID-safety is the key condiment we never knew about: it makes food more delicious and helps Melbourne come back to life. Stay safe, stay open, legends!

Mayday Cafe 410 Bridge Road, Richmond, 03 9421 0111, maydaycoffeeandfood.com.au
Open Monday-Saturday 

7am-3pm, Sunday 8am-3pm
All-day menu: $7-$22

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162 Greville Street, Prahran (also Fitzroy), ladro.com.au

Pt Leo Estate

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