If you’re a sucker for converted warehouses & quirky ceiling hangings, then I’ve found your new local cafe stop. Steering clear of the predictable pastel-coloured crockery and marble furniture, Glass Merchants opts for an authentic grunge-chic look that St Kilda embodies so well.
The location – colourful graffiti on the outside, industrial fitting, tall ceilings, retro mixed with modern décor – looks like a Brooklyn-style loft and a nightclub in Berlin have had a baby. Disclaimer: I have never actually been to Brooklyn but I watched Gossip Girl and it’s practically the same thing. On a side note – if Instagram had been around when Gossip Girl was on, would they have been bloggers…? And Blair Waldorf would have be even more of an idol (if that’s even possible).
If it’s not all about the interior for you (and so should probably reevaluate your life), then the actual food should fulfill all your brunching desires just the same! The coffee foam art was on point & even managed to still be hot enough (but not burnt) after an adequate photo-taking session, which is not an easy feat to achieve. The porridge was exactly the way I like it – an unsweetened grain base with sweet as anything toppings (e.g. rhubarb). Rhubarb just makes anything seem fancy and delicious – how this weird greeny red hard plant that is apparently rhubarb turns into sweet soft goodness is beyond me. The hotcakes were a work of art in themselves, and a party for your mouth. I’m unsure as to whether the ‘saffron’ coconut changed the flavour at all, but I see saffron and I instantly think “fancy/expensive/cool-looking/must-order” so either way it did its job.
If you’re searching for a café with great food/coffee, yet a lack of pretentiousness which is often seriously hard to find these days, check out Glass Merchants @ 63-65 Nelson St, Balaclava. It’s also quite big inside so there’s less of a chance you have to get there at 4am to avoid waiting a trillion years for a table. But don’t quote me on that one – you never know when crowds of anti-marble movement hipsters may appear.
5 grain porridge w/ caramelised banana, rhubarb & blueberry compote, goji berries, raw honey and pistachio crunch
Ricotta & blueberry hotcakes w/ cinnamon marscarpone, strawberries, house-spiced maple syrup, saffron coconut and crushed pistachios
In collaboration with Glass Merchants – 63-65 Nelson St, Balaclava