Dateline: Burnley. There must be something in the water in this section near Burnley Gardens, because Tansy Good quietly operated a cafe in these parts a few years back. Now, a couple of Supernormal chef alum have taken a leaf out of her book (#sorrynotsorry for the pun) and set up shop in the Botanicca Corporate Park. There's a new hotel next door, corporate worker-bees galore and the hungry students and academics from Melbourne Uni's horticulture-focused Burnley campus. In short, it's fertile ground for hungry folk looking for quality fuel.
It's like a full batch of picnic regalia has marched inside and demanded central heating. Timber-topped tables in high-gloss black paint, park lighting and plants bring the outdoors in, while booths down the back are good for hiding from your lecturer when that paper on pruning principles and practices is overdue.
If the rise of the Japanese breakfast has been the macro feelgood story of the year, Lokall has gone micro with its toastie and hot sandwich menu based on the fluffy, high-GI delights of shokupan, the perfectly square milk bread loaves served in doorstop slices.
Its sauce-sopping abilities are showcased in a straight-up bacon sanga with brown sauce, the kind of thing that could set you up until dinner. A chicken katsu features a crumbed fillet spilling out on all sides, anchored by red cabbage and piquant sauce, while a classic toastie goes for the two-cheese delights of cheddar and bechamel.
You can also get eggs any which way, brown rice bowls and salads, while the counter houses daily-baked things such as cheese and Vegemite scrolls and wickedly glazed chocolate cake.
The La Marzocco machine is getting busy with Bean Cartel's El Capitan blend, a nutty, honeyed cup of caffeinated love. There's batch brew as well, using Bean Cartel's current single origin from Colombia. Hot chocolate deserves to be in this category too, seeing as it's Hunted + Gathered's 60 per cent classic drinking blend.
Owners Dean Little and Steve Lim are in the process of getting a liquor licence, after which a sharp little list will include a tap beer from a local brewery, three wines, and a spritz. Bide your time with a selection of Parker's kombucha, StrangeLove sodas and juices.
Loving The fab new spin on the toastie.
Not getting Why I thought it would be a good idea to drive. Parking is slim pickings in these parts, but the tram stop is just outside the door.
Vegan factor You're looking at a toastie, a brown rice bowl and salads.
Overheard "Oh god, the bacon."
Caffe latte $4.
Lokall will open on Saturdays from September 21.