Espresso 3121 is a little tucked away cafe in the middle of warehouse-bounded Richmond. It’s not easy to find but it’s testament to its good quality food (and presumably excellent coffee, given its name) that it was a jumping little joint during the weekday lunch hour (note it’s closed weekends).
The cafe is housed in a warehouse conversion so it’s light and bright, with exposed steel beams bearing a high whitewashed ceiling, pared back brickwork and a scrubbed concrete floor. The semi-industrial theme continues with designer naked bulbs and cardboard boxes neatly stacked in the open kitchen area. Naturally I loved the owner’s hanging bike too!
I perched myself at on a cafe ubiquitous IKEA step-stool and checked out the menu. Espresso 3121 does pre-made sandwiches for those on the go (and the cabinet’s sweet treats are brought in from elsewhere) while the blackboard menu is fairly simple lunch fare, with a rotating daily special of the grilled toastie of the day. In fact, I think the coffee menu is longer than the food menu!
Tuna melts are something that are fairly easy to make but also easy to stuff up. Espresso 3121‘s version was on satisfying crunchy seeded bread from Dench, with a not-soggy layer of tuna spiked with sweetcorn and spring onion (nothing worse than a sandwich with a crisp crust and mushy interior) and with just enough cheese to bind it together. It was a simple and satisfying lunch.
And if you’re a coffee drinker, you may be interested to know that Espresso 3121 have a Twitter account where you can place your coffee order by Direct Message. They also have a Facebook page if you want to befriend them.
- Espresso 3121, 98 Balmain St, Richmond +61 3 9025 6720