Where: 29 Melrose Street North Melbourne (in underpass connecting shops to housing estate)
When: Tues-Fri 7.30am-3pm, Weekends: 8.30am-2pm
Contact: (03) 9040 4441
CC and EFTPOS
Local residents will rejoice in Pocket; a brand new micro-café sprucing up the tired Melrose Street shopping district. Tucked away in a concrete underpass adjoining local shops to a housing estate, the term “diamond in the rough” is particularly fitting. Despite its less-than-glamorous locale, Pocket’s outdoor seating actually fares quite well. The arcade’s overpass provides part shelter while the view out West shows off plenty of sky thanks to the café’s elevated position. The outdoor tables have been custom-fit to work with the sloping path so there are no awkward leans in the furniture. If you can nab a stool inside you’ll find lots of light, daily newspapers and plenty of sweet little flourishes that will make you feel right at home.
Asparagus, quinoa, Avocado and Marinated Pepper Salad ($7.50)
Pocket’s short and sweet menu is due to be expanded with some hot savouries, but there’s no need to wait for those as the bagels, salads and tarts really hold their own. Lunchosaurus tried the Salad of the Day: Asparagus, Quinoa, Avocado and Marinated peppers ($7.50) as well as the Pumpkin, Whipped feta, Pinenut and Rocket bagel ($7.50). While both looked fairly unassuming, they came up big on flavour.
The Asparagus salad was incredibly fresh and not overdressed which gave it a gentle flavour, mainly thanks to the gorgeous red peppers. The quinoa provided both hearty filler and fluffy texture.
Pumpkin, Whipped feta, Pinenut and Rocket bagel ($7.50)
The pumpkin bagel’s success was in the sweetness of the pumpkin partnered with the creamy whipped feta (seasoned with rosemary, garlic and lemon). Of course it doesn’t hurt to wrap it all up in one of Melbourne’s best carbs as well; Pocket stocks famous Glick’s bagels.
It’s hard to stop at lunch when tasty homemade treats are baked fresh on the premises. Lunchosaurus enjoyed a chocolate brownie ($4) that tasted just as it should; paper-thin crisp on top and almost molten in the centre. A few chopped nuts added extra body too.
To wash it down Pocket serves Allpress coffee and makes it with plenty of kick. The flat white ticked all the boxes but the cappuccino; while full-flavoured didn’t achieve that silkiness of texture, its froth a bit too aerated and segregated from espresso.
Flat White ($3.50)
Pocket offers something fresh and beautiful for the local residents to enjoy which will hopefully have the local sandwich and take-away shops something to aspire too. Extremely well-priced and with really personable service from owner Jacob, Pocket is worth checking out.
Food and beverage: 4.5/5