Loves to explore, highly nocturnal and can survive on Nescafe Short Black.
Published November 26th 2012
This is no 'treesome', but 3 good buddies with a cafe idea
Two's a company, but three's a crowd. There's certainly not a crowd in front of us during Sunday brunch, but it turned out that we have simply arrived earlier than the rest.
The Tree of Us sits nearer to the Victoria Street side of Church Street in Richmond, away from the stretch hosting the funky cafe crowd nearer to Richmond Hill and Chapel Street. Like its location, the vibe is unassuming, without the continuous buzz of plates hovering overhead, nor the thumping of coffee grinds into knockboxes. Anna Clarke, one of the three owners, told us that the artwork on the wall and the signage were contributed by the mother of one of three buddies. This is not a cafe with the smooth groove of an experienced chain owner, but the hard work of 3 close buddies with a common dream.
Bring a book and pick the light filled spot on the church pew bench lining one side of the wall. I sacrificed breakfast in favour of the delicious looking burgers and hand cut chips. There was a green lentil and chicken burger, and for the unadventurous, the humble Hamburger still packed a bit of spiced up punch in its lovely succulent house-made patty. The bun won me over with the softest bun covered by a golden sesame seed dotted crust. The handcut chips were honest and rustic, so let's pass the rosemary sea salt and watch the steam rise with each bite. The latte could be a little more consistent as we had a cup that was visibly a shade lighter.
If you want to veer away on a weekend to somewhere more incognito, this is the place for you without having to check into a daggy coffee and pie joint and slash your popularity ranking on facebook. Courtyard seating is available for the summer aficiondos, facing the side street camouflaged by yet another spray-painted Melburnian mural.
As a rare cafe bonus, Tree of Us is open for dinner on Thursday through Saturday. For those living in Richmond, this is a nice gem to get a morning coffee from, and to drop by for dinner when heading home.