Oh north-side, I do not get to visit you as much as I would like to. Luckily for me, Phoebe insists on living in north-side, and then invites me to brunch at whatever hot little caf’ is within walking distance of her abode.

Milkwood is so hot as to be positively scalding. It was absolutely buzzing when we arrived on a pleasantly sunny Saturday morning, so much so that we were quite lucky to slip into a pavement table almost immediately. Though I do kind of wish we’d waited a little to see if we could of got a table inside, just because Nicholson Street is quite busy and the outdoor tables are placed very close to the edge of road with no kind of barrier, so I kind of felt unnerved the entire time thinking that a truck was going to sweep my brunch out from under me and take me along with it. So do try to get a cosy table inside if you can.

Being me, I was lured over to the sweet side of the menu with alacrity, and after some indecision went with the ricotta pancakes with banana, honeyed yoghurt and toasted coconut. Big fat fluffy ricotta pancakes appeared with bright yellow disks of banana piled on top, crowned with a generous mound of yoghurt and browned curls of coconut. This was a delightful, albeit heavy, brunch plate that measured the sweetness of the ricotta and banana well with the tartness of the yoghurt, and I think I’m at a point where I kind of just want toasted coconut on everything, it always sets off other flavours so well.

But there I was, all content and satisfied, unaware that I was poised for a fall. Because Phoebe ordered a dish that caused the most acute case of food envy I have suffered in a long while.

She went with the cannellini bean and rosemary mash with avocado slices served on nice crusty bread. It was a very generous serving, with three pieces of mash-topped toast, and luckily it was so big a serving Phoebe ended up donating me a slice. OH MY LORDY. It was stupidly delicious. Just this lovely, hearty, beautiful mess of sweet beans threaded through with rosemary leaves, so simple yet divine. I was so pleased I was able to share some of it, but at the same time incredibly jealous that I hadn’t thought to order it myself.

Apart from having to sit so close to marauding traffic, and being given a tea strainer with my English breakfast that hadn’t been cleaned properly and was a bit groady, I was pretty well-pleased by Milkwood. The food is top-notch brunching fare, and I’m so keen to go back and have a plate of those beautiful beans all to my greedy self.


120 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Ph: 9380 4062

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