THE FOOD DUDE does late breakfast, let’s call it brunch, In Acland street at 95 ESPRESSO!

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Wandering down Acland Street, you could be forgiven if you walked straight past this tiny establishment, hidden between all those well known cake and pastry bakeries that have made Acland Street famous, but to my surprise, on this day, a large crowd was overflowing on to the street, all clambering for a seat!

Why, you might say, is this insignificant little coffee house so significant? In a word: ‘Coffee’.  Buzzing with their espressos; faithful and regulars, plus new converts, had heard the talk on the street and that talk is all about the coffee here at 95 Espresso!

I was about to sample one their signature blend lattes, I had come to 95 Espresso for breakfast (though as it was past noon we will categorize it as brunch). The coffee, I thought more or less, lived up to their outrageous claim promulgated on the front window; ‘the best coffee in St Kilda!’ As I have been sipping and sampling St Kilda Espresso for a month or so now and this was well and truly up there as one of the best. More about their impressive coffee technology and professionalism though in a later interview with the manager Oscar Crossbar, who has established his career around coffee making.

The menu looked fascinating with its attractive terminology, such as: ‘Early Risers,’ ‘Eggs Eleven,’ ‘King Prince Pauper,’ etc… but I was anxious to try the New Zealand Smoked Salmon on Woodfrog Sourdough with 2 poached eggs accompanied by sauteed spinach from ‘Eggs Eleven,’ list at a comfortable $15.

The dish arrived within minutes and the presentation was breathtaking; beautifully cooked soft poached eggs on yummy salmon, finished just right with the spinach. I devoured it all within what seemed like seconds, ‘melissimo!’

Then I could have chosen just Poached eggs on toast at a reasonable $8 or an Omelet with cherry tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella with a side of Woodfrog Sourdough at $15.50. Oscar suggested a further attack, this time something sweet and refreshing, Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh seasonal fruit salad, Vanilla Anglaise and Raspberry Coulis – sounded delirious but I was totally satisfied.

A formidable dish I noticed on the menu, although it was way out of my league today, sounded brilliant for anybody who was famished and feeling a little British (as one does occasionally), it was referred to as: ‘Poms Away!’ A full English breakfast of streaky bacon, vine tomatoes, mushrooms, homemade hash brown, pork sausage and 2 poached eggs on toast for an invincible $16.50 (over $18 anywhere else in town) – my godfather, that alone is worth another return visit.

I finish by saluting all the friendly, dynamic and lively young staff headed by the team boss Oscar, and a special mention to Johnny the barista who produced the espresso magic on the day!

95 Espresso

Open 7 Days – Mon to Wed: 8:30am – 6pm, Thurs to Sun: 8:30am – 9pm

95 Acland Street, St Kilda

Phone: (03) 95347141

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