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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Addict Food and Coffee

There's a new kid in town. Addict Food and Coffee (240-242 Johnston Street, Fitzroy) is so on the mark, it's almost ridiculous.

Occupying a bright site on the corner of Gore and Johnston Streets, just a block from Smith, Addict already has a strong local following, attracting custom from Fitzroy, Collingwood, and beyond. It focuses on fine coffee, great food and serious hip-hop, in a sparsely-decorated, modern venue.

Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, the cafe is currently commanding the kind of queues customary for the hippest new joint in town. It's not a huge site, but it does offer a smattering of outdoor tables, bound to be packed out as the warmer months approach. So if you're heading there for brunch, especially on a weekend -- get in early.

We didn't have to wait too long for a table, but once seated, we did have to wait a while before we were given menus. Attracting the attention of waitstaff to place our orders was also harder than it should have been. To be fair, the waitstaff did seem rushed off their feet, and this was only about six weeks after the cafe's opening in early June.

Fortunately, the coffee and food were worth the wait. Chefs Mark Boyd and Steve Hogan are ex-St Ali and have put together an appealing, confident menu of all your favourites, reinvented. I had the Potato Hash + Mushroom Duxelles with poached egg and caramelised onion. I wasn't entirely sure what the mushroom duxelles was supposed to be, but it (they?) turned out to be a kind of minced mushroom salsa at the base of the dish. The whole thing was stacked so prettily, I had to take photos from multiple angles :D

My dining partner had the Wholemeal Buttermilk Pancakes with mascarpone and poached quince - again, beautifully stacked - and a hot chocolate.

Coffee is by Padre and Wide Open Road, and is masterfully made by barista Cam Greene on a sexy matte black La Marzocco Linea, watched over by hanging potplants. (It is also available as filter.)

Owners Greg and Brooke Brassil (joined by partners and floor connoiseurs Joe and Brooke Ventura) apparently used to own GB Coffee, a micro-roasting cafe in Shepparton - so, presumably, good coffee is a high priority here in their newest venture.

The colour scene of Addict is natural and slate grey; clean and simple. Two sides are lined by large windows, and polished concrete floors, cream walls, blonde wood and dark wrought iron all feature. Unfortunately, all the hard surfaces inside meant there was a lot of white noise. However, there is the option of sitting outside, at one of the tables under the shade of a coolibah tree. (Really!)

Menus are on mini clipboards or written on the blackboard, and the concrete-topped counter also showcases sweet treats by Little Bertha. Crumpets are by Dr Marty and, according to their Facebook page, the cafe is also adopting almond milk as an alternative to soy. Trend - trend - trend... tick - tick - tick! See... on the mark. Wink - wink.

Addict is a classy newcomer in an accessible location. With the quality of its food and coffee, it is likely to continue on this wave of initial success.

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