Kerry has been writing radio copy for donkey's years, & also dabbles in short stories & travel writing. She works, plays and explores largely in the CDB and inner suburbs, gets everywhere by public transport and is the self-professed Zone One Queen.
Published April 20th 2014
Catering to a suburb of dog lovers
You've done all Yarraville's cafes. Looking for something new? Head just a very short drive north to explore the cafes of Seddon.
Seddon's eateries are scattered along three main streets which, you also may observe, house an extraordinary number of dog grooming and pet accessory stores. Let's start at the street closest to Yarraville: Gamon Street, a long tree-ish residential strip.
Lady Moustache Where: 84 Gamon Street. If coming from the Yarraville end, you'll find it on the left hand side as you walk/drive north
Décor: Out the front, rustic wooden undercover seating complete with pot plants, and a parlour out the back.
My breakfast: Smoked salmon with potato rosti, chive scramble, asparagus spears and lemon roquette. On another occasion, I tried the signature dish: Cuban-style scrambled eggs with black beans, avocado, smoked pork and lemon, and have eyed up the Breakfast Mezze plate.
The menu highlights its Serendipidi Teas and Artful Dodger coffee (though there is no decaf). I tried the Prana Chai – natural and handmade with organic Australian bush honey.
Gravy Train Cafe Where: 83 Gamon Street, across the road from Lady Moustache.
Décor: It has a wide frontage and a large front outdoor space under a light roof to protect punters from weather conditions. There are large electric fans, a (rather sparse) kids' play corner, and tables on the footpath to accommodate those accompanied by canine friends.
My breakfast: John's Eggs – an egg benedict with salmon, asparagus, spinach and hollandaise. My flat white was served on a small oval silver platter with a tiny glass of water.
The Gravy Train appeared under-attended, in spite of other Seddon cafes that day being packed to the hilt. Feedback on sites such as Urbanspoon is 50/50. Yet my experience was tasty food, good service and decent prices. If you have kids or dogs with you, or are looking for a large outdoor table, it's worth giving it a go.
Advieh Where: 71B Gamon Street. Just a few steps along from Gravy Train.
Décor: I had passed this popular establishment several times, noting it seemed to be completely full with all tables taken. Yet I had never put my head in the door, and it's worth doing so. From a dark frontage, you enter a long spacious exterior with Moroccan tiling and a comfortable feel. There may even be a table for you.
My breakfast: Poached eggs with dukka, pesto, rocket, parsley, avocado and pecorino cheese on sourdough.
The breakfast menu offers egg favourites with a Middle Eastern twist. One can also choose from the likes of chicken shish plates, zucchini falafel, Moroccan meatballs, Turkish bread and dips, Lebanese wraps, and plenty of dukka, eggplant and baba ganoush. There are a nice lot of teas, and several mint tea options.
Breakfast is served until 2:30 on weekends, though Advieh is open until 10pm, serving a restaurant menu in the evening.
Le Chien Where: 5 Gamon Street, near where it meets Charles Street, and just a few doors down from fabulous corner vintage shop Diamond Dogs.
Décor: A large mural on one wall. Nothing too fancy otherwise.
My breakfast: I was ultra-keen to try the signature dish for which they are renowned, and I wasn't disappointed. The Promite Special - poached eggs, avocado, tomato, parsley on a thick slice of sourdough smeared with promite. Yum! (this has inspired me to try the same at home) Why aren't more cafes doing this simple twist on a basic egg serve?
Le Chien is popular and often full, yet I have read various UrbanSpoon reviews that complain about poor customer service. On my visit, I experienced an exceptionally helpful and attentive waitress who found me a seat when all appeared to be taken, cleaned the table and took my order immediately, in spite of the café being full to capacity. So don't be put off by everything you read – there is always the potential for a good experience.
Now we turn the corner to find…. Chicco Where: 77 Charles Street , opposite the T-junction of Charles and Victoria Streets.
Décor: Spacious, even cavernous, with a European aesthetic. Colourful walls, cushions made of sacking, old commemorative teaspoons arrive with one's coffee.
My breakfast: From the specials menu, corned beef hash with poached eggs, blue cheese mayo and eggplant pickle.
Sicilian salt was available on the table, and an interesting variety awaited me on the menu. The guy making coffee wore a suit jacket with rolled up sleeves, completing the feeling of quirky style that was starting to distinguish Chicco for me. However from the selection of newspapers, only the Herald Sun was available – not ticking any boxes for this Age Good Weekend reader.
Chicco was quiet at 9:30am on a Saturday but had started to fill up by the time I left. Another good option for groups looking to eat early.
Now heading up Victoria Street…. The Little Man Where: 158 Victoria Street, not far from Seddon post office.
Décor: Not a large space, but a clean bright interior accented by light wood, white chairs and white brick walls with aqua tiles. Very aesthetically pleasing to me actually. An island serving counter and one large communal table take up half the space, with small tables filing the rest.
My breakfast: One of my favourite staples - Eggs Florentine with extra salmon.
A relatively new cafe (at time of writing) and due to its size, best for lone diners, couples or small groups. With no outdoor tables, this is one of the only Seddon cafes you can't turn up to with your dog.
Seddon Deadly Sins Where: 148 Victoria Street, north of the post office. Look for the seating on the footpath.
Décor: A typically homey café feel, with wooden tables and a nice back room displaying paintings. There's pleasant courtyard out the back – the blue and red pots and earthenware-esque walls give it a Mexican feel.
My breakfast: Zuccini & corn pikelets with salmon, baby spinach, and lime & herb mayo.
Various menu items are listed as 'sins' – lust, gluttony, wrath and so on. The guys who run the kitchen are very friendly, earning this café its well-deserved reputation as one of Seddon's most popular. The place has an air of food folks who know what they're doing. The coffee was great, with coffee and cake still being served at 5pm on a Sunday (another visit of mine), when most of the other cafes had closed.
So, there are seven fine and varying eateries to get you started. Take your dog and indulge in some shopping for them too.