Fordham's Milk Bar, Camberwell

Fordham's Milk Bar is a cafe/milk bar in Camberwell, located just opposite Hartwell Station on the Alamein line. The cafe was a lot bigger than I had imagined, with plenty of seating both inside and out, and a whole display cabinet area and drinks section to choose from. I was surprised I hadn't heard of the cafe before, probably because it's quite hidden in a little street in the suburbs, and you might not think to venture there unless you were going to the train station.

We went at about 11:45 am on a Sunday and luckily didn't have to wait at all for a table, opting to sit outside as the weather was nice and sunny. The only downside to sitting outside was the occasional fly, and for us, a very persistent bee that just wouldn't stay away from our food! A lot of people seem to bring their dogs with them, and there's plenty of seats outside to accommodate this. I got a quick glimpse of the interior when I was looking at the dessert cabinet; it seemed to have a rustic vibe, with the brick and white painted walls and the overall use of dark wooden decor combined with tiled communal tables. The large windows at the front allowed plenty of natural light to come in, and overall was quite a lively atmosphere with all the people having Sunday brunch. The staff were attentive and friendly, and there was about a 20 minute wait for the food.



Trei Cafe, Glen Waverley

Trei Cafe is located in Glen Waverley, in a little shopping strip just before Syndal Station on the Glen Waverley line, or a five minute drive from The Glen Shopping district. It's a pretty popular cafe in the area with a good range of both breakfast and lunch dishes, that have a twist on your typical brunch flavours and dishes.

The cafe isn't very large, with pastel coloured decor and the use of white chairs and wooden tables. Cushioned seating lines one wall of the cafe, and overall the atmosphere of the cafe is comfortable and lively, though at times you did have to raise your voice a little as it was so busy. We went on a weekend and were told there was going to be a half an hour wait for a table, but luckily got one in about 20 minutes. Staff were friendly and attentive, and there wasn't too long of a wait for our food.


A Thousand Blessings, Richmond

A Thousand Blessings is a cosy cafe in the Richmond area, just off Church Street and easily accessible by tram 78. It's owned by the same people behind the froyo chain 'Frozen by a Thousand Blessings', and prides itself on serving and using organic and local produce.

The cafe has a very homely feel to it, with the use of wooden decor and soft colours. It can seem a little cramped for space at times, but the relaxed atmosphere and overall service of the place makes up for this. Staff were attentive and friendly, and our food didn't take too long to arrive. There was also no wait for a table when we went around 12pm on a Sunday, which was really great.



The Counter, Hawthorn

The Counter is a cosy cafe/bakery in Hawthorn, just opposite Auburn Station on the Belgrave/Lilydale/Alamein lines. The front window is lined with an assortment of baked goods, and there's also an extensive menu of breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as specials of the day.

Upon entering the cafe, it doesn't look very big, as the counter and display takes up about half of the space. However, there's also an outdoor area that expands into quite an open, spacious sitting space, which is great for the warmer weather. The decor in the outdoor/garden area is quite simple, but with lots of plants and wooden benches that makes you feel like you're in your own backyard. Upbeat music plays in the background, and the general atmosphere of the place is lively. We chose to sit outside, and I was quite surprised at the attentiveness of the staff; there was almost always someone in the back area, so we didn't have to wait for ages to get their attention, just because we weren't in the main cafe area.


Kitty Burns, Abbotsford

Kitty Burns is a relatively new cafe in the Abbotsford/Richmond area on Victoria Parade, just opposite Victoria Gardens and easily accessible by trams 12 and 109. The interior design of Kitty Burns is one of the best that I've come across in Melbourne, and made for a really great eating experience. The cafe itself is located in a cluster of new apartments; if you enter through the front where the tram stop is, you'll have to walk to the right and down a bit further past some corporate offices to reach it.

The interior design of Kitty Burns is very sleek, with the use of pastel greens and blues throughout the cafe. The wooden decor and furnishing adds to the aesthetics of the place, as do the tall ceilings and large windows that allow plenty of natural light to pass through. The atmosphere is lively though at times you do have to raise your voice, as there is always so many people. Service was pretty good, and we didn't have to wait too long for a table or our food. The staff were extremely attentive, with multiple staff coming over during our meal to ask how everything was, if they could get us anything else etc.


Einstein's Relative, South Yarra

Einstein's Relative is a small cafe in South Yarra, the next street down from South Yarra station and close to Two Birds One Stone and Adriano Zumbo's patisserie. It's also easily accessible by tram 1/8 and there's plenty of parking on the side streets.

The cafe is quite small and cosy but doesn't feel squashed, and there's also some seating outside as well. There isn't much decoration as the place is so small, but pot plants line parts of the counter to bring some life to the cafe. Service was good for the most part, with friendly staff who came to check how our meal was at times. There was only about a fifteen minute wait for food, though my friend got the additional chicken option to go with her salad dish, which we were both sure we told the staff about, but didn't end up getting in the dish.



Three Monkeys Place, Doncaster East

Three Monkeys Place is a cafe in the Doncaster East shopping district, easily accessible by bus 279. I had actually gone past this shopping district a lot of times and never realised there was a cafe in here, and for the most part was happy with my experience here.

The cafe has quite a lot of seating both inside and out, and there's a shaded area that allows the sunlight to come through. We went on quite a warm day so it did feel quite hot; even though we were sitting in the shaded interior area, it didn't seem like the fan/AC was on. The design of the cafe is quite simple and there's not much decorations on the white painted brick walls, though each table came with flowers which was a nice touch. The service was pretty good, we didn't have to wait too long for our food and the staff were really attentive, however they did tell us they ran out of juices completely as it was such a warm day. There's an interesting range of options at Three Monkeys Place, from burgers to pastas and salad as well as basic breakfast dishes. We went with the Corn Fritters ($17), the Honey Walnut Bresaola Salad ($19) and the Mr Hermit Burger ($20). 


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