A gap in between two buildings, just across the way from Melbourne Uni Law School, and the entrance of Seven Seeds is revealed. I practically skip into the alcove, I’m that excited. “You could have experienced this place weeks ago if you hadn’t skipped out of Tuesday lunches!” admonishes Jess, and she’s right, sickness/laziness has caused me to miss at least two Seven Seeds expeditions (Jess, I promise not to miss any more Tuesday lunches).
The space is brightly lit, airy and very, very crowded. Apparently predominantly with law students, according to Jess. “We go crazy for good coffee anywhere within walking distance of school.” Not that I could tell you if the coffee was any good or not, as I am one of those pansy tea drinkers (incidentally, very weak tea here, even if you leave it be to try to seep for a while – couldn’t get it to raise more than a slight brown tinge. Shallow tea leaf receptacle in the teapot, perhaps?).
Despite the teeming crowd that appeared to be meandering all over the place, we’re lucky and manage to slip onto the edge of a communal table. I’m so hungry I’m tempted to gnaw on the wooden-backed menu. Jess looks grimly at it. “Everything has bread,” she says. I peek. She’s right, everything is distinctly sandwichy or toasty. The kind waitress suggests the spicy homemade baked beans, intimating that they are just as nice and filling without the sourdough toast. Jess acquiesces, while uttering a “Damn Passover.”
Having no restrictions on swellable grains myself, my empty tummy directs me to the most decadently described sweet treat on the menu – french toast with poached pears, marscapone, rose syrup and amaretti crumb thingies. I am a sucker for both french toast and pears. Though I always have a knee-jerk reaction with french toast where it is automatically compared to the dizzyingly amazing example put forward by Las Chicas in Balaclava – so eggy that it’s almost like a bundle of sweet scrambled eggs with suprise bread inside. Okay, so most french toast lovers baulk at that kind of egg-to-bread ratio, but I love it.
Seven Seeds’ version was more bread than egg, but made up for it with delicious toppings. Pears lovely, marscapone which I pretty much popped into my gaping mouth in one go (yes, I could have spread it over my toast and enjoyed it with the other flavours, but that’s the decision I made and now I have to live with it), the rose syrup was plentiful and I tried to mop it all up with the toast yet failed there was so much, and the crumbly amaretti things… I have no idea really what was going on with those, but I wanted MORE.
While I was happily letting crumbly thingies dissolve in my mouth Jess was getting stuck into her beans, which were generous in size and smelt delicious. In fact, she was quite happy with them until the fellow next to us had his meal placed in front of him – the beans. With toast.
Jess looked at it, then back at her wheatless version. Misery was etched on her face. “This would be so much better with toast.”
“Well, let’s plan what you can have when you can have wheat again,” I said, and we snaffled a menu. “They’ve gotten rid of the prosciutto pressed sandwich!” says Jess. “Kim will be devastated.” A message is sent to Kim to convey the bad news; a reply is full of sad “D:” faces. Very devo indeed. “The corned beef and sauerkraut toastie looks good though. If I still ate the meats I’d get excited by that.” I say. “How old school, hot English mustard and all!”
We mosey out (and yes Jess, I know I still owe you fifteen dollars for my meal, it’s in an envelope in my wallet because I am just that anal-retentive). Along with Animal Orchestra, looks like Seven Seeds is to become a regular Tuesday lunches venue for the Melb Uni crew.
114 Berkeley Street, Carlton