One of the lovely things about occasionally working in the Melbourne office is that my arrival is always treated as a special occasion by our Melbourne staffers. With less than three people in the office at any time, having an additional person makes all the difference to them, and they’re always keen to welcome me and take me around to the eateries in the area for a long leisurely lunch.
This time around, they took me to Chicco, a large, airy, and funky cafe located in the Inner-West up-and-coming suburb of Seddon. The whole area is slowly become gentrified as it moves away from the semi-industrial past and more and more young hip families and couples move into the area. One of my friends who bought a house in Seddon fits this description to a T – she and her partner are young, hip(ster), work in cool design and editing jobs, and are expecting their first child in the next few weeks.
On the Friday that we went for lunch at 1pm, the cafe was nearly full, though had emptied out by 3pm (see above) when the kitchen closed. It seems to be the favourite local cafe for office workers in the area with a dozen co-workers sharing a table, as well as mums with babies in prams, and random older, single men having a leisurely coffee while reading the newspaper from front to back.
With funky graffiti artwork towards the back of the cafe, cushy seating along the walls and plentiful brightly coloured cushions dotting the space, Chicco is designed and decorated with comfort and fun in mind.
I ordered the salmon baguette (cured salmon, confirmed with the waitress) with wasabi cream – a daring choice for me as I’m not usually a big fan of wasabi but really wanted a hit of salmon that day! This turned out to be an excellent choice – the wasabi only made its presence known in the biting aftertaste of each bite of the baguette, and was really tempered by the cooling effects of the salmon and avocado. The baguette itself was nice and crunchy – really well-done, artisan-style bread. The fries were extra crispy and crunchy.
From the photo above, you can see that this is very much a big meal though, as were all the other meals served around my table. My colleague ordered a schnitzel with coleslaw and fries and ended up having to take half of it home in a takeaway container as it was just that big. If you’re not feeling particularly peckish, you could probably easily order one main meal to share – or alternatively, order a smaller item from the breakfast menu which is available until 3.30pm.
Overall I rate Chicco an 8 out of 10 – it’s a really funky cafe with excellent food and attentive service. It’s really set the standard high for other cafes in the area.