Slowpoke has maybe the tiniest, most serene courtyard in Melbourne. The thin, long cafe meanders along its length until you reach the wee outdoor pocket right up the back, where four two-seater tables are collected underneath a fig tree canopy that provides quiet respite from the bustle of Brunswick Street outside. It was certainly an oasis of calm for Mel and I, having trooped across greater Collingwood and Fitzroy in search of an alternative brunching venue when our first choice fell victim to Xmas holiday opening hours and was lamentably closed.
There is nothing lamentable about Slowpoke, however, and we felt very fortunate to have stumbled across it. It’s very aesthetically pleasing, mainly constructed out of what appears to be recycled and re-appropriated timber, making for a rather cosy atmosphere with a few nooks and crannies to hide yourself away in. Which brings me back to that courtyard, at the time not only shaded by big leafed fig trees, but crawling with vines and spilling forth with bountiful flowering plants like nasturtiums. Just lovely on a clear, warm day.
Everything on the tightly compact menu is centred around bread (apart from a bircher muesli), so I hope you like bread. Despite the fact that I am quite adept at making my own dippy eggs, it’s always nice when someone else makes a favourite dish, so I went with the soft boiled eggs with toast, with an extra side of avocado. The toast soldiers were large slices of crusty, lightly oiled bread, and rather too large for dipping, so I had to content myself with spreading the gooey egg yolk over it. Good proper gooey egg yolks forgive too large bread sins anyway. The avocado had been sliced and simply dressed with black pepper, pink salt and a squeeze of lime, and was fresh and lovely on its own, let alone paired with the crunchy toast.
Melly had the smashed avocado, a very generous slab of crusty bread covered in bright green smushed avocado flecked with pieces of fresh chilli. Simple yet hearty, she seemed to be very well pleased with it.
The flat white I had alongside my eggs was blisteringly strong (cue bug eyes for the rest of the afternoon), but didn’t bring along bitterness with the strength and was smoothly pleasant. It would have been unwise for my already terrible sleep patterns to have had a second, though, so instead I followed it up with a rooibos tea with lots of lovely floral-noted honey.
While I could see myself eventually feeling constrained by the limited menu of ALL THE BREAD PRODUCTS, Slowpoke is so enjoyable a spot to hang out in that I can see it becoming a handy meet up place for coffee and chats. The staff are friendly, and graciously put up with Mel and I spending over two hours taking up prime courtyard space talking about impending holiday times. Speaking of Xmas, I think it is appropriate to finish this post with Mel’s most wonderful present to me, an ornament that I have christened “It’s A Very Mario Balotelli Christmas.”
157 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Ph: 9942 7813