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breakfast, casual, fitzroy, restaurants and cafes, sandwiches, under $20

NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

P1040575v1 NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

My friend M is moving into Fitzroy next week and for our Sunday catchup he wanted to try a place around his new hood. Min Lokal is Swedish for ‘my local’ and I thought it’d be the perfect venue for this northside newbie.

Evidently lots of other locals treat Min Lokal as their neighbourhood cafe too, as trendy student-types, young parents and groovy couples spilled out onto the pavement stools, crowded around the two communal tables in the front room and enjoyed the quiet of the rear courtyard. We were there at midday and there was a dizzying stream of customers moving in, out and around – so if you want to read your Sunday papers in peace I suggest hiding out the back.

The menu is strongly breakfast focused – waffles, muesli, eggs, toast. They’re famous for their baked eggs but we didn’t fancy an oven-baked lunch on the hot day, so settled on a chicken sandwich with celery and walnut remoulade and pancetta ($12) and a haloumi salad with witloaf, chorizo, chickpeas and harissa ($16).

P1040583v1 NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

After quite a long wait (one of the downfalls of uber-popularity) our meals arrived. As far as sandwiches go it was….pleasant. Not exciting, not terrible and frankly a bit expensive for what it was. The colourful salad looked more promising and the flavoursome ingredients lifted it beyond the norm.

P1040579v1 NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

While waiting for our meals I’d been eyeing the countertop of delicious looking muffins. When only one remained, I swooped and claimed it, an apricot muffin topped with almond flakes. Unfortunately, it was reminiscent of Muffin Break – a solid block of baked stodge with minimal fruit. Nothing on the muffins at Proud Mary.

P1040586v1 NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

All in all, a disappointing experience at Min Lokal. I liked the general feel of it – a cute terrace house in a residential area converted into a local haunt. But on Sunday it was so busy it made my head spin and maybe all the rave reviews (Addictive & Consuming, Where’s the Beef, Fitzroyalty)  have made them a bit sloppy. The girl across the table from me complained that she kept finding hairs in her waffles and left her plate unfinished, still with a piece of waffle spiked on her fork as if she’d gone to take a bite and just given up in disgust. A party of three nearby ordered coffee and then were told 20 minutes later that their coffee orders had been lost. When we went up to pay (in a line stretching back 10 people) they didn’t have a record of what we’d ordered.

In the face of excellent cafes nearby like Cibi and Proud Mary, I don’t think I’ll be racing to return to Min Lokal. I’m happy to leave it for its ardent fans.

minilink NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

pixel NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy

Discussion

9 comments for “NOT: Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy”

  1. That is a shock. It seems a trend that the standards of a couple of places that many of us haven given rave reviews have dropped. worth a second review I think…

    but hey you got proud mary in your neighbour hood – jealous!
    .-= penny aka jeroxie´s last blog ..Cookbook Challenge w15 (Muffins) – What muffin are you? =-.

    Posted by penny aka jeroxie
    Twitter: jeroxie
    | March 4, 2010, 7:23 am
  2. Is Melbourne the home of baked eggs? They were everywhere when I visited in November and I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about.

    Posted by Huy | March 5, 2010, 11:38 pm
    • Hi Huy

      Yes, they do seem amazing popular at the moment at most breakfast places. The first place I encountered baked eggs was at Globe Cafe in Prahran five years ago, but they’ve spread. Like you, I can’t get that excited by them, particularly in summer.

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | March 6, 2010, 6:57 am
  3. I love baked eggs, but only when they’re cooked perfectly — which isn’t that often in brunch places, unfortunately. You need to get them in front of a customer with everything hot and well cooked, but while the yolks are still gooey, and it seems just too difficult for many cafes to pull off during rush periods.

    However, I’ve never had anything but really good baked eggs at Min Lokal. Admittedly, I know how busy they get and restrict my visits to quieter times, so that’s probably part of it. Even then, there is generally a decent wait for the food.

    I would encourage you to give it a second shot if you get a chance during a non-busy period, because they do make a seriously good breakfast.

    Living near so many top cafes in the Collingwood/Fitzroy area is great, but the flip-side is that they’re often SO popular and busy, you never get to enjoy any of them. I’m still yet to give Proud Mary a second chance because I just haven’t been able to get in there when it’s no hideously packed.

    A few more out of the way places in the area that tend to be less packed
    on weekends are: Squirrel Cafe on Groom St in Collingwod/Clifton Hill, Bluebird Espresso on Johnston St in Collinwood, Bomb Cafe on Johnston St in Abbottsford and Cibi on Keele St in Collingwood.
    .-= Ruth´s last blog ..Who said all Americans were jerks? =-.

    Posted by Ruth
    Twitter: rbbrown
    | March 8, 2010, 11:01 pm
    • Hi Ruth

      Yes I seem to be in the minority with Min Lokal, so maybe I will give then another try on a non-busy day. Though to be honest your description of baked eggs doesn’t really appeal to me – only because I have a personal dislike of runny/gooey eggs! Maybe I’ll try to take along a baked-egg eating friend to taste test.

      Thanks for the tips on the other places too – I’ve only been to 1 of the 4 you mentioned so it’s good to have some options.

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | March 9, 2010, 6:24 pm
  4. Bluebird would actually make for a really interesting post/article, I think. I’ve only been there for coffee and quite liked the barista and general feel of the place, but this is really interesting:

    “BLUEBIRD ESPRESSO is flying the flag for traditional coffee ,we dont have a clover or a synesso we have a gaggia its manual it takes strength and skill to use it an she makes dam fine coffee…”

    I love coffee and wanky third wave coffee places, but I appreciate that someone is giving them the finger, too, because: Jeebus Christ, it IS wanky and it’s good to remember that Melbourne’s first-class coffee culture IS built on traditional Italian espresso. If I was still freelancing, I’d definitely write/pitch a story on it — the third-wave backlash/what the old school baristas think of the new kids/etc.
    .-= Ruth´s last blog ..Who said all Americans were jerks? =-.

    Posted by Ruth
    Twitter: rbbrown
    | March 11, 2010, 9:55 am
    • Hi Ruth

      Thanks – you’re the second person now to point me towards Bluebird, so it’s definitely on my list. From what I hear they sell vintage bikes too! Problem is that I’ll have to organise a coffee-drinking companion to come with me and taste test how the traditional coffee rates against the third wave coffee that’s taken Melbourne by storm. Not being a coffee drinker puts me at a disadvantage sometimes when it comes to writing food reviews! Someone mentioned Bluebird does great pides….

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | March 11, 2010, 10:05 am
  5. […] Smith St, Collingwood +61 3 9417 1377) and Min Lokal (422 George St, Fitzroy +61 3 9417 0333) – for coffee, baked eggs and people […]

    Posted by Mel: Hot or Not – The Decisive Guide to Melbourne | A Vintage Affair | September 22, 2010, 5:31 pm
  6. […] visited Min Lokal – including Addictive & Consuming, Where’s the Beef, Fitzroyalty, MEL: HOT OR NOT and Melbourne Coffee […]

    Posted by "…it pleases us" » Blog Archive » Min Lokal, Fitzroy: solid local breakfast | March 8, 2011, 6:23 am

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