Collective Espresso, Camberwell

12/23/2015 , 0 Comments

Happy 2015! It's been awhile, hopefully everyone had a lovely time off during the December holidays - I certainly did - ate waaaaay too much haha! I know I said I was going to post some photos from my Taiwan/France trip on the Facebook page, that'll definitely happen soon!


Collective Espresso is a small cafe just opposite Camberwell train station, also easily accessible by tram 72. It's quite well known for its coffee, and the interesting menu items make you want to visit this place more than once to try it all out!

There's seating both inside and out at Collective Espresso - from memory of the first time I visited, the interior is very brightly lit and open, with cool art in wooden frames on the walls. This time around when we went we decided to sit outside as it was a sunny day, and we wanted to soak up some vitamin D.

The menu at Collective Espresso is quite interesting and different to just your average brunch places, especially some of the lunch dishes in particular. Both breakfast and lunch are served all day; two of us went with dishes from the lunch menu while one from the breakfast, and there's also a range of both cold and hot drinks. We ordered the Avocado & Feta Mash with Poached Eggs ($19), the Superfood Salad ($17.90) and the Cured Vodka & Lime Salmon ($21).

Drinks wise, I decided on an orange juice ($5) and both my friends got the Ice Mocha ($6). The orange juice was freshly squeezed and really refreshing, with a good orange flavour that was both slightly sweet and sour. Both of my friends really enjoyed the ice mocha and said it was one of the best they've had - there was a good ratio of coffee to chocolate that wasn't too strong, and the addition of ice cream gave it some extra sweetness. The coffee beans on top not only added to the presentation, but ensured the drink wasn't overly sweet.

The avo and feta mash was served with fine herbs on sourdough toast, with the option to add a poached egg. The avocado itself tasted quite strongly of the herbs (mint and rosemary), and was also a little on the runny side and a bit too smashed. The egg was well cooked though the yolk a little watery, and strangely enough didn't have a very strong egg yolk taste. However, it was a good mix with the feta that was flavoursome, and a good portion to have.

The Superfood Salad consisted of quinoa, freekah, wild rice, mixed seeds, feta, broccolini and rocket, served with orange blossom and chia seed yoghurt. It was definitely a very refreshing and healthy dish, though going with the option of no meat felt like it was missing something to balance out all the other ingredients in the dish. There was quite a lot of dressing which became quite overpowering and zingy, but otherwise there was a good ratio and balance of all the flavours. Overall it was an average dish, and could've had more variety.

The cured vodka and lime salmon was served with black sesame poached eggs, rosti, pickled baby beets and a wasabi crème fraiche. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, though I thought the black sesame mentioned in the menu meant it was going to be different to normal poached eggs - I didn't realise it was just sprinkled on top. The potato rosti was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, though a little on the salty side. The pickled beetroot was a great addition for extra flavour, and the wasabi crème fraiche went really well with the cured salmon. It was quite strong in flavour, but not to the point where you started tearing up.

The service at Collective Espresso was quite good, with friendly staff that were very attentive, and we didn't have to wait particularly long for our food to arrive. Overall it was an enjoyable experience here, and I'd definitely come back again to try some of their other dishes.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7.5/10
Price: 7/10

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