So here’s my two bob on Two Bob.

The café is an airy, high-ceilinged transformation of a former bank (remnants of the secured bank vault are still there) based in leafy North Fitzroy/Clifton Hill. Inside it’s all white and blonde wood with a few dashes of greenery here and there. Very calming and Scandi-chic.

Two Bob is a daytime venue and their breakfast menu is something to behold. The kind of list of breakfast classics-with-a-twist which makes it impossible to choose…until you flip over to the reverse side of the menu and discover the equally tempting lunch menu.

Paralysed by indecision by the time the waitress arrived the five of us ended up with 2 x steak sandwiches, 1 x slow cooked baked beans and ham hock cassoulet, 1 x crumbed poached eggs and 1 x ocean trout. A balanced menu traverse between breakfast and lunch, filling and light, hot and cold.

My slow-cooked cassoulet arrived with hearty chunks of meat, a poached egg floating on top, a sprinkling of feta and coriander and a hunk of multigrain toast ($16.50). A solid dish and the kind that soothes you with its familiarity.

M said that his crumbed poached eggs ($16.50) were very slightly overcooked and he actually didn’t enjoy the crumb very much as the frying gave the eggs an oily coating that lingered on the tongue. However the grilled asparagus and floret of smoked salmon got a thumbs up (but really they aren’t ingredients you can stuff up).

The baked miso ocean trout came with a cold noodle salad, Asian coleslaw and a sweet-sour tamarind dressing ($18). Perfect as a lighter choice if you’re not feeling so hungry but J definitely got food envy (as did everyone) from the winning dish at our table, the steak sandwiches ($17.50).

Mainly because of the presence of fried onion rings – we all went ‘wow’ when we saw those! The black Angus steak was carefully grilled and combined with a traditional filling of cheese, tomato, rocket plus some sweet beetroot relish and dijonaise instead of mayonnaise. A two-hander of a sandwich full of smashing colours and textures.

For dessert we each had a pick of the very moist carrot cake topped with a light cream cheese and walnut frosting ($5) which by itself, along with that steak sandwich, is worth returning to Two Bob.

While Two Bob is not pushing any major gastronomical boundaries it does what it does well, without fuss and pretence and with care in the use of ingredients and presentation.  I used to frequent the owners’ former cafe in Brisbane (Cirque) and Two Bob is definitely an extension of a winning formula.

For other great cafes in North Fitzroy, try Mitte and Mixed Business.

Two Bob, 270 Queens Pde, Fitzroy North +61 3 9482 5444

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