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Pillar of Salt

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Coffee
by Writer (subscribe)
Published September 12th 2011
Pillar of Salt

It's 12pm and I have not seen a cafe as busy as this before. The bad weather probably has something to do with everyone's need to sit inside a warm cafe, eat good food, drink great coffee and to people watch, but can you blame them?

They have cold drips from Costa Rica, Kenyan Thunguri syphon coffee and Tanzanian Mshikamano espresso. Never heard of cold drip? Thought syphon was a thing people did to your petrol tank? Ask someone here and your education will begin.

The sound of this place is overwhelming and comforting - for me anyway. Blankets of conversations covering the whole floor, the hungry sounds of the kitchen and the rhythm of the coffee beat-beat-beating away at my heart which pushes blood to the eyes and ears that are beyond saturation point.

Double Espresso. Pillar blend.
This has the right amount of burnt caramel with the right amount of roasty warmth. The crema is deliciously thick with colour to match the walnut table I'm seated at. It has a smooth and oily consistency.

The staff are polite, attentive and you guessed attractive as the their coffee and food is tasty. They check on people constantly, refilling water and making sure everyone is ok. While they are horrendously busy they still manage to check on everyone.

The wait times are reasonable for food and the time it takes for staff to remember your name and your order is impressive. It is busy and it is a Saturday. Either leave your name and be patient, or leave your name, walk around, come back and hope for the best. Certain places are busy for a reason, don't settle for second best, patience pays out.

The open kitchen that is teeming with staff who are all looking seriously happy about the food they're making. There is a courtyard out the back, covered but exposed to the windy elements. I keep saying how busy it is, the courtyard is packed, it's damn cold outside. If it is cold outside and people still want to sit out there to drink the coffee and eat the food from this place, that must be saying something.

Coconut Chicken Salad.
This was light, refreshing and satisfying. Highly recommended.

Espresso. Single origin. Tanzanian Mshikamano.
Not the strongest single origin I have tried. Very, very light flavours and tones. Light cherry and berry tastes are laying about somewhere in this drop of nectar. In terms of intensity, the Pillar blend is much more intense whilst this single origin is not as intense. As syphon coffees are like wine with their subtleties, as is this single origin. As subtle as wine and as enjoyable as coffee (or whatever your poison is).

541 Church St - Richmond
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Why? You cannot go wrong here.
When: Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 16:30, Saturday: 08:00 - 17:00, Sunday: 08:00 - 17:00
Where: 541 Church St Richmond 3121
Cost: $3.50 - $20.00
I visited Pillar of Salt last Sunday with friends. We were lucky enough to find an outside table in the pleasant morning sun, which was needed as one of my friends had her pug along with us.

It may have been because of the AFL grand final or the change in daylight saving overnight that people did not seem to be out and about as early as usual but by the time we were leaving, the inside and outside spaces of the cafe were bustling with patrons.

I like how you can see through to the kitchen and connect on a visual level with back-of-house staff going about their preparation of orders.
By Janine - senior reviewer
Thursday, 6th of October @ 01:00 am
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