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Degraves Espresso Melbourne

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by Jen (subscribe)
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Published November 23rd 2022
Tapas bar and restaurant under new management
degraves espresso melbourne, cafe, restaurant, tapas bar, breakfast, lunch, snack, eatery, cultural experience, wine and tapas, family fun, fun things to do, tapas bar and restaurant
Images - Writers Own

You could say the 16th of November was a day of amazing art in amazing places, in good company. First there was a booking to view the art of Rone - Time, at Flinders Street Station, plus the opportunity to visit the ballroom again after having been there for another amazing Patricia Piccinini exhibition not too long ago. Rone didn't disappoint. A lover of portraits, street artists and street art, I have loved Rone's work amongst many others, for a long time, and was lucky enough to have seen his Empire exhibition at Burnham Beaches three or so years ago.

Next, hunger pangs for afternoon tea took us on an adventure down Degraves Street in the city, mid afternoon. It was heartbreaking that parts of it looked quite empty and sad, until we came upon Degraves Espresso Melbourne at 23-25 Degraves Street, Melbourne - Ph: 8395 6651. It was inviting and intimate, and we were drawn in by what I can only describe as European inspired art in the window as you can see in the first and last image, looking in, and out. It made everything look scrumptious and urged you to explore the menu. Now under new ownership/management since May 2022 just 6 months ago, we had the opportunity to have a little chat with the owner and operator Kathy, pictured below, who happened to be orchestrating a food photoshoot on the day. As you can see, I couldn't resist getting in on the act as everything was looking so beautiful, and took a shot of one of the arrangements (below). Chatting to Kathy, her commitment to using only the best produce is made obvious thus, you could say this newly refurbished establishment is in good hands and ready to reestablish itself better than ever.

Nestled in the heart of Melbourne's most famous laneway, Degraves Espresso Melbourne, a tapas bar and restaurant, is one of two owned by Kathy who has been in the biz for over 30 years. The Quarter right next door is its older sibling, however at the helm of this new venture are the same years of experience placed in more than proven, capable hands, and they're here to stay. Newly refurbished, entry is via the the bar/cashier area into the room next door. The decor isn't fussy with long bench seats lining each side of the room on one side of the table, and timber chairs on the other, with some upholstered metal chairs thrown in the mix. A step up at the end of the room houses more seating, the wall dominated by a vintage inspired painting by Anastasia Nikakis, of a Woodland Goddess.

Offering authentic European inspired fare from tapas to Spanish inspired dishes, there's also outstanding cocktails to be had. Fully licensed, Degraves Espresso Melbourne is open 7 days a week from 7am to late Monday to Saturday and 8am to late on a Sunday - hours may vary. However, we had just dropped in for some afternoon tea, but couldn't help trying the special of the day. The pasta of the day at $15 was the chorizo, calamari in a creamy tomato sauce, served with spaghettini. It was al dente, and a perfect sized dish not too huge to enjoy. The ingredients alone will give you an idea of its taste, but of course, sitting there and consuming it is even better.

This was followed by a red velvet cake and a cheesecake that looked a little burnt on the top I could not resist. Its darker top layer alluding to mysterious tastes to discover, or so I thought in my imaginative little head that tends to run away with stories of its own. I wasn't disappointed. It had a good burnt citrus punch to it that was hard to ignore - the cheesecake so satisfying to the bite. Couldn't fault the red velvet cake either, which is a favourite of mine, but that cheesecake just took me to another realm. Coffees were perfect with the right strength and body, and just today, we were talking about wanting to go back again to sample all its other offerings. Degraves Espresso Melbourne under new management is already proving to be one of the reasons for the enduring strength and appeal of Degraves Street as a hospitality destination.

One of Kathy's favourite expressions - 'If you want to understand what's unique about Melbourne, have brunch here on your own at 11am on a Saturday morning.... If you don't get what makes it unique, you'll probably never get this city....'

With vegan and vegetarian options, the all day brunch menu includes breakfast fare like Homemade Granola, Avo Smash, Baked Beans, Chilli Scramble and the likes, but also has Cured Ocean Trout, 12 hour Lamb Shoulder, Tuna and Burrata Ensalada, Beef Roll and more, with extra sides to order on offer. The tapas menu kicks in from 12.30pm daily, a small delicacy that allows you to try different flavours, shared with friends. If you can't decide, you can always go for the 'feed me tapas please' and let the kitchen choose 3 of their delicious tapas dishes for you. Spanish Olives, Sourdough, Clams Conserves, Salami, Vegetarian Bomba, Fine Cheese, Spanish Anchovies, Gambas (river prawns), Calamari and Catalan Style Tomato Bruschetta form the tapas menu.

The dinner menu is designed around sharing food and enjoying good times with friends, its aim is to offer small bites of unique flavours. Again, there's a feed me option for those who are unsure of what to choose. Let the chef decide. There are Small plates of Pot Roasted Leeks, Blistered Octopus, Pork Saffron Rice, Mushroom Duxell and Fried Potato, while the Mains consist of 24 hour Beef Cheek, Dry Aged Scotch Fillet, Slow Roasted Pumpkin, Duck Breast, Snapper Fillet, Beetroot and Citrus Salad and Chicken Breast. For Desserts there's Chocolate Brownie, Corn Custard brule, Torrijas and a selection of cakes in the window.

Beverages include locally roasted and blended coffee for the discerning Melbourne palate, tea, chocolate and cold drinks. Aperitif, Spirits and Cocktails include Sherry & Vermouth, Gin & Tonica, and a variety of Cocktails like Manhattan E'spaniol, Espresso Martini PX, Mojito Ginger, Martini Marguerite, Bloody Maria and more. There are also beers, cider and wines, sparkling, white wine, rosť, red wine and the likes. Now is the perfect time to hop into the city and support our local, and do Melbourne again. Do check out Degraves Espresso Melbourne - the owner is very open to your opinion and ensures a great dining experience for you.

Now comes the end of the day, another form of art - the cinematic kind. The closing night of the British Film Festival's 'What's Love Got To Do With It' was the perfect end to a very romantic day in a way. Romance with art, food and the performing arts. A perfectly blissful day no less, and I wish you the same.

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Why? Degraves Espresso Melbourne - Tapas Bar & Restaurant
When: Fully licensed and Open 7 days a week from 7am to late Mon-Sat and 8am to late Sun (hours may vary) Ph: (03) 8395 6651
Where: 23-25 Degraves St, Melbourne, VIC
Your Comment
No sadness here. Looks like an extensive selection on offer.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|5716) 3 days ago
This place looks amazing!
by Swift (score: 0|5) 3 days ago
Thankyou kindly Jen , it was so lovely to meet you and have a chat about all the wonderful things Degraves Espresso Melbourne is offerring . Thankyou for the write up and support . It feels heartwarming to read after the last couple of difficult years out city has experienced.Look forward to seeing you soon. Kathy
by kathr (score: 1|10) 2 days ago
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