1-3 The Mall Templestowe Lower, VIC 3107
|Opening hours||Daily 7am-11pm|
|Features||Family friendly, Licensed|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9850 2680|
According to the emerging branch of science known as coffee-nomics, it's possible to gauge the real estate fortunes of a suburb by its number of new-wave cafes. Judging by Riddik, the canary in the Lower Templestowe mine shaft, the good times are well and truly rolling in postcode 3107. It's not just that there's a queue out the front; it's that the queue is busy taking selfies. Yep, George Kelzi and his sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Andrew Wagner, have struck a rich seam of locals who aren't afraid to dress for breakfast.
The fitout has embraced the good bones of the former ANZ bank building. White marble-topped booths hug the external wall, while a high-low mixture of seating and elements from 1970s brick to fishbowl pendant lights add plenty of textural interest. A mural by street artist Tarek dominates the back wall and brands the takeaway coffee and milkshake cups.
It's a big menu for a big venue. Chef Adam Robins, who worked with the trio at Richmond's Penny House, has a PhD in brunching, Melbourne-style.
Thick-cut brioche french toast sandwiches melting strawberry mascarpone cheesecake with toasted coconut and vanilla ice-cream. A fluffy omelette is flapped over smoky duck pieces and a Swiss cheese ooze. Fat lozenges of the house-cured bacon ballast an eggs benedict with a blood orange-hollandaise twist (one of six eggs benny options).
Aside from a tendency for pea tendrils to crash a few too many plate parties it's good, on-trend stuff. As for the scary-intriguing idea of the coffee-rubbed beef burger – another day, my pretties, another day.
Beans are by Code Black: their Ex Wife blend in a caffe latte (double ristretto unless ordered otherwise) is rich, dark chocolate-caramel and smooth. A light-roasted blend does duties for black or cold brew and there's a rotating single origin that hops along for the coffee nerds. The kids are loving milkshake flavours including Oreo, Nutella, salted caramel or choc peanut butter.
It's good to see a gent enjoy the civilising influence of a Bloody Mary well before noon on a Sunday. The wine list keeps it simple, mostly sub-$50 and all-Australian. Or pop a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to celebrate the neighbourhood's upward mobility (fun fact: the label is the same colour as the Lamborghini parked out front).
Avo index Rating well. Australia's favourite brunch dish heads to the Middle East with poached eggs, house-made sumac and thyme shanklish, hazelnut dukkah, figs, mint and pomegranate molasses on sourdough ($19).
Caffe latte $4
Loving The multi-layered makeover of the former bank.
Not getting The tablet ordering devices that seem to cause more headaches than good old pen and paper.
Overheard "This is our last meal before the diet."
Score 2 cups
Food 7/10, coffee 4/5, experience 4/5
How we score: 13-14 one cup; 15-16 two cups; 17-20 three cups