I arrived moments before the lunchtime rush and after waiting about five minutes was shown to a corner booth for my group and I. The high-backed grey benches allowed for some privacy in the busy cafe, which added to the atmosphere but didn't do much to dull the noisy clutter and chatter of the open-plan dining area.
Try to avoid peak times to get the best of the cafe
From exposed cords to cement floors, the aesthetic is clean with brown and grey neutrals allowing the food to take centre stage. I opted for poached eggs on sourdough toast with a side of kasundi relish. It was absolutely delicious, though I should have perhaps gone for the more adventurous fish finger sandwich with smashed peas - which is probably the poshest thing to ever to happen to fish fingers. I also had a rather lukewarm hot chocolate, which was nonetheless tasty.
The cafe's eco-conscious vibe runs from vegan options in the menu through to environmentally friendly bathroom products in the wooden-walled bathroom. It attracts the usual Brunswick crowd of creatives and young professionals, though as it's slightly off the manic bustle of Sydney Road it retains a slow, wholesome mood. Some patrons were evidently there alone, slowly sipping artisan coffee and reading or working on laptops; others were in small groups of friends and family, laughing and talking. Having finished our meals the friendly waitress was happy to refill our water and let us sit another half-hour drinking and chatting - a welcome casualness not often found in such a busy area.
I was so excited to eat that I didn't take a 'before' photo - se here is the aftermath of a happy meal!