Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published June 7th 2016
Food Art for the Romantic and Wicked
A kid's serve of pancakes
The meaning of alchemy is 'a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination'. So that's a perfect name for this trendy little cafe just across from the Blackburn station. Their meals transform fresh, raw ingredients into delicious meals that look like food art.
Beautiful contrasting textures and colours
I like that you can watch what the cooks are doing in the kitchen. I noted there were five workers preparing food and five on the floor. I thought that was a rather large staff for a small café and thought that it meant the wait would not be long - and that was true.
This is the second time I went for breakfast with a small group of people. Between us we have tried quite a few of the menu selections. I still need to return though because there are a number of other meals I would like to try.
Cooks at work
For some reason on both occasions I have chosen the sweet options. Usually I am a savory girl. Last time I chose the delicious coconut and nutty granola ($15) with berry syrup, fresh berries and seasonal fruit. This was presented superbly and tasted just as good. It was so good I wanted to recreate it at home but of course, it never tastes as good when you cook it yourself.
Count granola- too good to leave anything on the plate
This time I thought I'd be a risk taker and chose the soufflé pancakes. I thought it would be like a thick pikelets but it looked like a soufflé and tasted like a two soufflés on top of each other or a sweet cake. They were adorned with a wide selection of fresh fruits including half a passion fruit, pistachio and vanilla ice cream. I thought for the serving size this was a bargain for $16. One of the adults in our group had the child's size and that was more than enough.
A first time for me - soufflé pancakes
I think I now remember that last time I was cursing that I did not select the Guacamole mash. This is a very frequent and popular choice of mine. Today I wish I had not been adventurous when I saw the avocado smash, even though I got to try the soufflé pancakes. The smash had a full avocado on sourdough with coriander and Danish goat's feta and tomatoes ($16). While being very generous serve of avocado and beautifully presented, a little more feta would have sealed the deal for me.
Guacamole mash with perfectly cooked eggs
On my wish list is the corn and zucchini fritters with halloumi, spinach, balsamic vinegar and poached egg and the Quesadillas for $18.
Today two of us chose the fresh next juices. They were $6.50 but served in large glasses and were a lovely combination of apple, pineapple and orange. The coffee drinkers said that they were very high quality. They should be, the café owns a very flash blue coffee machine with their personalised cafe name on the front.
A coffee machine that means business
The cheapest breakfast menu item was toast from six dollars and the most expensive item was The Big Daddy for $20. This includes free range eggs, hash browns, maple bacon, sautéed mushrooms, chipolata, grilled tomato and baby spinach.
I think it's true for the Black Alchemy as well as other new cafes, that the cooking shows on TV have been influential in the presentation of food. They are almost too good to eat and definitely photo worthy.
Poached eggs- simply delicious
I should mention that on both visits that we thought that the waitress may be the owner because of the care and attention we were given. Also noteworthy for people who want something quick, the home-made protein balls for $4 and the cakes and sweet treats would be great with a cuppa or as a takeaway snack. When we were there a fresh tray of large, tempting muffins was delivered to the front counter.
Freshly baked berry muffins
The decor is fresh white and simple with polish floorboards and exposed brick so it's surprising with no soft furnishing that it wasn't very noisy. There are outdoor seating areas out back and out the front on the street, although I'm not sure where all the parking is.
Pretty busy but 'talkable noise'
If it's true that finding the person who is right for you requires a very subtle 'alchemy', I suggest you arrange your next first date at the Black Alchemy. Enjoy the ambience, service and food….. you might end up believing in magic.