Code Black Coffee is a cafe and specialty coffee roaster in Brunswick. It is housed in one of the most darkly dramatic warehouse conversions I’ve seen, designed by local Brunswick architects ZWEI Interiors Architecture.
As its name suggests the exterior is a brutal black and the interior is all masculine. Black walls, dark concrete floors, black wire furniture with only glints of wood and industrial metal. It’s all sharp edges and jagged angles and for some reason brings to mind being enveloped by a Yohji Yamatoto garment. If there was ever a set for a ninja training school, this would be it.
The food menu is more light-hearted and creative and you guessed it, etched in black.
I started with a bacon and soft-shelled crab brioche burger ($20). That’s three of my favourite ingredients in one awesome dish! Inside the fat bun was also stuffed some spicy slaw with some creamy mashed potato and sharp cornichons on the side, a needed textural contrast from the fry-up.
For dessert I chose double-downed on brioche. To be precise, French toast brioche sandwich filled with hazelnut and chocolate ganache and salted caramel sauce ($17.90). Another three of my favourite ingredients combined!
If you choose the start your day with one of these beauties then make sure you allocate time for a food coma afterwards. There were three fat slices of chocolately brioche, a large pool of scorching salted caramel and a generous handful of crunchy cocoa and goji berry crumble. A very tempting combination but I had a problem with the sauce. I’m not sure it was the chef or the cold weather but the sauce had basically set by the time I was halfway through the plate. It was impossible to cut through, sticking to the cutlery and plate and I was afraid I was going to lose teeth trying to chew it.
It goes without saying that the coffee at Code Black Coffee is of a high standard and you can watch the roasting operations while you wait on your food. On Saturdays they run free cupping sessions in a dedicated cupping room.
Incidentally, ZWEI Interiors Architecture are running free walking tours of Sydney Road during Melbourne Open House 27-29 July, starting at Code Black Coffee. The tours are sold out but I’m going to try my luck and just turn up after enjoying breakfast at the cafe. ZWEI will also be publishing a self-guided walking tour with notes after the event on their website.