A freelance writer currently residing in Melbourne, with a penchant for sugar, spice, and everything nice.
Published August 16th 2012
On the bustling streets of North Melbourne sits an unassuming and quaint little café on Errol Street known as Fandango. It was a happy accident that I happened to come across this place, as it is rather easily overlooked. But once it catches your eye, there's no turning back.
Though the size of the café is small, rather than feeling cramped, the overall vibe is cosy and warm. The feeling is somewhat akin to coming home to grandma's kitchen after a long day at work, which brings back memories of soulful, home-cooked food. There's even a bonus, as you walk further back, the café opens up into a beautiful outdoor courtyard, with wooden tables and steel chairs, framed by vibrant flowers and plants at various corners. It's hard to feel anything but contentment when you're sitting out here on a warm, sunny day, coffee in one hand and a book in the other.
The menu at Fandango offers a variety of interesting choices at reasonable prices. With breakfast items ranging from something sweet such as French toast, to more hearty lunch food such as falafel wraps, this café will satisfy any kind of craving you'll have. The lunch menu consists of mainly sandwiches or wraps, but all are made with quality sourdough bread and fresh ingredients. There are even gluten free options too. And fret not coffee lovers, there is of course a selection of good coffee and tea available. If chai is your thing, then this is definitely the place for you. The house specialty is their chai tea, which comes celebrated with honey and a teapot with a teapot cosy. And let's face it, can you really resist the lure of a teapot cosy?
As per my brunch custom, I ordered pancakes with bacon, strawberries and cream. The serving portion can only be described as generous, which is great because you feel like you're getting your money's worth. Pancakes were fluffy and light, and tasted delicious when accompanied by fresh strawberries and cream, with a bit of bacon to slice through all that sweet maple syrupy goodness.
It's hard to fault the service when you feel like you're being treated with so much care and attention. The service of the wait staff was exceptional; they were warm, attentive and down-to-earth, which really added to the pleasure of this dining experience.
In a nutshell, if you're looking for a break from your fast-paced, overwhelming, cosmopolitan lifestyle, then escape to Fandango for a cup of good coffee, great food and a bit of me-time in a relaxing atmosphere. I guarantee you'll come out feeling a little better.