Cafe Nova is definitely part of the fabric of popular, busy and the always full of life Brunswick Street. Suited to professionals, hippies and students alike, their clientele is so diverse. I was with a group of three other people on a late Saturday night. We just needed a bite to eat. We were trying to get dessert, yet Cafe Nova was closed. We went without dessert on this occasion, and just as well, as the food (before our supposed dessert) was so filling.
The experience is surprising. You just don't know what to expect here. The ambience is lively. A mix of the new and the old to bring some interesting, trendy scene to the table - sorry, bad pun. Our group scored the farthest table from the front for some more space. There were a few drops of red wine on our table, yet it was cleaned up immediately - not even a second after we all sat down.
The hunger levels of our group were varied, and therefore a variety of different dishes were enjoyed. I went for the Smoke Salmon Bruschetta with Capers ($5) and another friend of mine went for the Wedges ($10), which came with cream and sweet chilli sauce. Other dishes that were enjoyed (I did not taste any of these) included a beef burger with chips, and a chicken tandoori dish. A couple of us went for something alcoholic, while the rest opted for the clean stuff only.
The bruschetta came with the right amount of olive oil. The capers came with a smooth texture that blended in quite nicely with the fresh salmon bread. The sourdough bread base was fresh. If there was another drop of olive oil on this dish, this would have spoilt it.
My bruschetta has the right amount of olive oil in it
The wedges were quite chunky. I only had a couple just to try and the bruschetta for me was just fine. It feels weird enjoying a simple, restaurant style dish at a cafe at around 10pm on a Saturday night. However the experience was just delightful until our group was asked to politely leave minutes after finishing our treats. It was late anyway.
A great place to chill out and unwind along Brunswick Street. Cafe Nova is definitely a Brunswick Street institution that needs to be tested out at least once to be appreciated.