The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Carlton

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is coffee speciality roastery/cafe in Carlton, off Elgin St past Lygon St. The cafe is quite hidden; you pretty much have to walk up the Shell Petrol Station and turn left at the small sign indicating Raffa Pl, which brings you to a surprisingly spacious and cosy looking cafe. The Vertue of the Coffee Drink prides itself on endeavouring to deliver the tastiest coffee, and just from reading on their website, you can tell they seem to really know what they're talking about when it comes to coffee, and are happy to help out those who are just starting out or have been drinking coffee for a long time.

Upon entering the cafe, you're first treated to the counter and the roastery aspect, before it expands out into the cafe itself. The space is open and bright, with very high ceilings - the place looks like it was furbished from an old warehouse, but with a modern feel to it with the lights and the plants as decor. There are quirky coffee decorations around the whole place, with a huge old school coffee machine of sorts in the middle. The atmosphere is lively and vibrant, with upbeat lounge style music playing in the background.

The menu here is quite extensive, and made up of a cool range of dishes that aren't just the typical ones you'd find in a cafe. The menu is predominantly made up of breakfast dishes, though there's a good range of lunch dishes that can be ordered from 10:30am onwards. My friend decided on the Scotch Eggs dish ($21), and I ordered the Smoked Fish Chowder ($18). We also got a drink each; the Mad as a Hatter Chai ($5), and the Mork Hot Chocolate ($4). The chai had a very strong flavour and was quite spicy, and could've been a bit sweeter as the chai was quite overpowering. The hot chocolate was perfect for the cold, rainy weather when we visited, with a lovely creamy taste. As it was Mork Hot Chocolate (from the famous Mork brand which is known for its dark chocolate), it was a bit more bitter than the usual hot chocolate I'm used to, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

The Scotch Eggs came with smoked pork belly, pig skin cracker, piccalilli mayo (mayo with a type of pickle), onion marmalade and brioche soldiers. The eggs in particular were very delicious, cased in a thin crumbly outer layer that contrasted well with the soft textures of the egg itself. The pork belly was a little tough and salty; it definitely could've been a bit more tender and soft, and the pig skin cracker wasn't as crunchy as it looked but had a good spicy seasoning on top for extra flavour. The onion marmalade helped make up for the other elements of the dish that didn't have as much flavour, and the zestiness was a good touch. The brioche soldiers were really enjoyable with a sweet, doughy interior and a crispy toasted outer layer, and went really well with the mayo and marmalade in particular.

The fish chowder consisted of old bay spiced squid, Port Arlington mussels, quail egg and BBQ corn. It was a perfect dish for a cold day; creamy, and not too strong of a fish flavour that can be offputting for some people. There was a good range of elements and a generous amount of fish, though I didn't have any mussel in my dish. The squid was very soft, and even with the film like texture on one side, was easily broken off and not too chewy. The use of BBQ corn was a nice touch for both flavour and texture, and added some natural sweetness to the dish.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience here at the Vertue of the Coffee Drink. There's a lot of interesting dishes on the menu that I'd like to try, and would highly recommend this hidden cafe if you're in the CBD/Carlton and looking for a quirky new place to eat.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Price: 8/10

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  1. I really love your food blog. Is there any way of seeing all the places you've blogged about, by suburb, complied into one list?

    1. Also, the current search functionality lets you search by suburb, and it'll come up with all the posts. Hope that helps :)

  2. Hi! Thank you so much for the support :)

    I've tagged all the posts I've published into suburbs, but I will be creating a new page that lists all the posts by suburbs. Hopefully it'll be up by next weekend.


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