What used to pass off as an old toilet block along Yarra River is now a bustling cafe called Kanteen. As the name implies, it's a no-frills, open plan setting with outdoor seating that merges indoor, covered only by the roof and clear plastic flap walls that try to keep the cold out.
Looking at the flow of customers from morning to noon on a weekday, Kanteen seems to be a popular spot to grab a quick coffee, brekkie or lunch. The cafe's location on the Yarra River walking track attracts plenty of walkers, cyclists and dog lovers. The place was certainly dog-friendly with the scattering of water bowls in the outdoor area.
I sat at a long wooden sharing table with views of the river awaiting my morning nibble of muffin and latte. Service was friendly and easy going, and my order was prompt. The strong latte turned out dark and rich, topped with a meticulous rosetta. Not exactly Market Lane, but will suffice. The muffin was still soft to tear and moist to the taste, a near reminder of Cupcake Central.
The menu carried a selection of brekkie items on offer till 3pm, with eggs and black stick rice as the main highlights. Pidés dominate the lunch selection and the counter offered cakes, muffins and biscuits.
The staff commented that weekends can be really busy with adults, families, dogs, bicycles and baby prams. I can understand why as the location and surrounds offer a kick-back atmosphere to enjoy a scenic bit of the Yarra River with the occasional rower, boat and heron. Just don't let the credit card surcharge and weekend surcharge spoil your experience on the way out.