We walk ed in - the two of us and sixteen more paws... I was scared as I saw the expression on the floor manager's face... I was sacred he would tell us: NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED... I was wrong as his facial expression was more about cleaning the table very quick for us. "Bram", he introduced himself and offered us a place outside so the pups would feel comfortable. Cold water is on the table for the hot day: (for all six of us actually) in some very unusual shape glasses. We can relax now...
Bram is extremely friendly and starts talking to our dogs , telling us about his own and trying to remember the names of ours at the same time... The latter though is like remembering the names of 20 strangers at the friend's party.
He brings them bacon.... Now Dasha, Tosha,Penny and Snopp will love him forever... and yes, we will come back here of course! They are - treat!
Bram recommends us what to choose from the menu: best vegan dish for Misha and best fish dish for myself.
The Crux and Co is located at the vibrant and very busy corner off The Albert Road between Kings Way and St Kilda Road - it is that beautiful corporate pocket that we used to go to while we worked ourselves t Domain.The placee has an easy street parking opposite the cafe. It feels like a brand new place. It is quite busy too at 0100am on December 19 although many families have already left for their holidays. There are limited seats left which looks good and people mainly come to enjoy each other's company not for take away food but more for a classy but casual as they say experience..
It is very cozy outside in the shade under the two large umbrellas. It is even more cozy inside where the place is so tastefully decorated with live plants, comfortably located tables and chairs so you feel a part of the whole place and at the same time - very private with the correct floor layout.
It is great for business meetings and we could see people near by at he tables with the stacks of papers and laptops.
"Govrite po-Russiki?" - the girl turns around and starts laughing... "How do you know?" - "We just saw you have a very very Russian facial expression". She says: "great choice for lunch guys! Try their cakes - they are delish. My business partner and me just had two. They are to die for! Thank you and see you later Russian friend! "
Meanwhile our dishes arrive...
There is one fresh big size bowl of vegan delights... Misha's bowl has slightly fried tofu with all the yummy things around it: the white silky tofu is the cntre of attention and is deliciously soft on the inside and crispy on the outside fried in the tapioca flour. It is surrounded by the vegetables and delights of all kind: sweet, sour, marinated , spicy, soft and chewy, oily and refreshing with a bit of green highlights and mouthwatering vegetables - they are all so different. They make the dish very exiting to explore the tastes: there are no repetitions here- they are all unique. I also believe there is a non-vegan version of hiss dish on the menu. Alternative is tuna.The dish is called Ahi Poke bowl if you try t find it.
Mine was very salmon-like : miso covered salmon grilled sand served with risotto hash, tomato and eggplant puree with addition of watercress and slaw salad Amazing dish prepared with love and attention to decoration and colors
We finished with the lunch... but we do not want to leave. We had our coffees too. but we still do not want to leave. Oh yes, the Russian girl... Should we try the cakes?..
"They say life is all about balance, and that is the ethos behind the menu at The Crux & Co. Buttery house made croissants, pastries and sweet dishes are balanced out by Korean influenced savoury flavours. Our pastry cabinet filled with flaky pastries, tarts and cakes that will make any sweet tooth weak at the knees, our menu reveals another dimension of delectable delights. The crux of the matter is what to try first!
We are a 110 seat café and patisserie located on the ground floor of The Emerald Apartment on Albert Road. Whether you are looking for a bite for breakfast, a reward after walking The Tan, or a brunch with friends, The Crux & Co have all the answers."
Our cakes choice is visual but right: perfect yellow sphere It is called solero ball: it is made out of delicious mouses with layers of different color mousse yummy core filling of a mixture of very sweet fruit. The taste is exotic to say the leas, lemonisht. It is topped with the chocolate tail. Misha's choice is chocolate cake of course despite all vegan rules. Chocolate rules vegans. His cake is called Chocolate Tarraine... Oh Chocolate Tarraine...!!! Sounds like a beautiful tornado on your tongue. It is better than anything in the world and it is topped up with a golden leaf. Such an entertainer! Be aware though: it is quite rich and extremely sweet... hm... and decadent I would say. If you are a chocolate lover this is the cake for you! It will blow your mind with its chocolate soul! Close your eyes and enjoy! The taste? OK, it is lighter than fudge but denser than a mousse - this is the mst close description I can make.
You would think it was time to go home? You bet! Yet not! The pups were quiet observing the dry leaves passing by with the warm summer wind... and we were just enjoying our afternoon with Mish... Bram was flying between the tables full of energy and asked us if we would like more coffees and cakes. It was time to go for a walk to shake the lunch a bit... Royal Botanic Gardens were waiting for us and for the pups to massage its grass with their.little and speedy paws.
Thanking the whole crew at Crux for the lovely lunch.
Special thanks: Ashleigh Dyer at Pinch Of Sal PR who was amazing and very patient as took us a while to run this project!
BARRY COFFEE AND FOOD website review and photos: by Natasha Marchev
We were privileged enough to be invited to Barry Coffee and Food to review the cafe food and rinks.
My first words were: "Oh god , I know this place... Some two or so years ago we had breakfast here with taxidermist teacher, Natalie Delaney-John from Melbourne to get some of her advises on upcoming Red Riding Hood photoshoot. I could recall that coffee and food were amazing but it was a totally different experience and it was long time ago.
I love the vibrant atmosphere of this part of the city: Northcote. It is a lot of cafe competition in this area and the I have to admit: one cafe is better than the other. The owners really need to know the demand to be up the top of all of this.
We were seated and given the menu. We have chosen cold drink blends: ~ #1 banana, peanut,butter cacao, honey, almond milk, ice ~ #2 spinach, kale , avocado, pineapple, dates, coconut water, ice both drinks were extremely delicious
first one was very dense, sweet, full of flavour with very smooth and a but chewy texture. The taste was beyond any possible expectation. With the first sip you feel transported to the exotic place where people forget all their troubles and worries. It was unreal , supernatural experience in its pleasure! Banana and peanut butter give the drink that dense, smooth and chewy sensation weather cacao, honey and almond create the exotic unbelievable taste. It was a balanced blend to lift you up and give you lots of sunny energy.
the second drink was extremely tasty too. It had more wattery but very satisfying sweet taste. the spinach and kale gave it the superb boost of vitamins while your taste buds yelled YES to the sweet nature of pineapple. Th avocado gave the blend that very smooth sensation and shape while dates appeared at the very end fighting to satisfy every little bit of the leftovers of this magical drink. Coconut water gave the whole drink that almost "alien" sensation while playing the important role of the "binder" of all the ingredients. I would say it was very tasty and blended with good proportions of all the elements.
for the mains we have chosen ~ nourishing bowl of marinated organic tofu, roasted five spice organic pumpkin,, soba noodles, beetroot puree, edamame, pickled radish and fine herbs (vegetarian dish) ~ californian superfood salad with quinoa, shredded kale, wild rice, coriander, corn, salted ricotta, black turtle beans, tomatoes, jalapeno, gojis, spicy lime vinaiegrette and tuna ~ plus sweet potato chips and spicy aioli
the first dish was really tasty. t was a blend of perfect ingredients and tuna gave it unforgettable picante structure. The bans and corn added softness to this amazing dish while giving it lightness and air-ness. gojis gave the dish sweetness and made that beautiful spicy-sweet kick to the meal but it also did not overwhelmed the wholeness and at the same time each ingredient shined on its own. The dish was also very well presented. It was a real delight! the second dish was not a mixture as the first one but had all the elements of the dish located in a very strict order in the plate: they all had its own place and played the roles of self decoration.
the second dish was simply amazing: something that I would make myself if I had enough time, spics and skills. the cauliflower was really nice in flavour and texture: not overcooked, not undercooked - just right, the tofu was soft and delicious with the right spices, the pumpkin was the best IMHO out of the whole dish: the correct spices made the sweet pumpkin soft flesh to satisfy the most spoiled gourmet lover, the marinated radish was crispy with amazing kick: not oversalty, not overspicy, the soba noodles had superb texture and melted in the mouth, the edamame beans were mixed with green cooked vegetables and had nice sweet and grassy taste, the dish was served decorated with herbs and black sesame seeds. but the top of the masterpiece was beetroot puree that made the decoration of the entire dish to stand out. it was zesty and prepared with the amazing gourmet seasoning.
the third dish we shared. sweet potato chips were of very attractive golden color, were not oily, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. they went incredibly well with the spicy aioli.
The whole experience was like flying to another planet. My friend who is usually spoiled with the variety of dishes she tries at assorted cafes in Melbourne and whose boyfriend is a high grade chef said she will come here again with her boyfriend. I will as well when I have one... but for now I am taking my son to this phenomenal place for his birthday lunch!
Thanking Steve, the owner of this cafe who put his heart and his soul into making his customers happy! Thank you Steve!