I’m not sure whether Mitte is named after the district in Berlin and the German word for ‘middle’ but let’s just say at the outset that there are no German references in the menu, decor or service of this neighbourhood cafe.
It’s in a little hideaway location on the corner of two residential streets in North Fitzroy and serves breakfast and lunches to a loyal local crowd, who sit inside the cosy interior or spread out on the outdoor pavement tables.
I parked myself on the bench on the sunny side of the street and was immediately greeted with a smile, a menu and a request for a drink order. Having puffed my way up the street on my bike the homemade ginger and mint refresher caught my eye ($6) and while I debated whether to have breakfast or lunch at 11am a tall tumbler of icy mixture of ginger beer, fresh mint and soda water arrived. A delicious variation on the ubiquitous commercial soft drinks.
Hedging my bets on the menu, I decided to try the Middle Eastern style meatballs from the lunch menu ($17) and breakfast crumble from the breakfast menu ($10).
The meatballs, an interesting combination of toasted pistachio, fig and spices, came drenched in a rich tomato sauce and were perfect smeared with yoghurt and a nibble of coriander. The Dench sourdough was best used for mopping up the leftovers – you’ll want to lick that bowl clean.
If you like sweet breakfasts (or a lunch dessert) then I highly recommend the breakfast crumble. This would be better termed the ‘anytime crumble’ because I’d eat it at any time of day! The generous bowl of sticky vanilla and cinnamon poached pears and apples topped with a sweet granola crumble and a dollop of marscapone has guaranteed Mitte a return visit.
Mitte, 76 Michael Street (cnr Rowe Street), North Fitzroy