Living at Dad’s house whenever I’m in Melbourne usually means a lengthy commute for me along the Pakenham/Cranbourne train line into our work’s Melbourne office in Footscray. Whenever I look out the train window as it hurtles past the inner-south-eastern stations, I catch myself gazing longingly out at the little cafes and snapshots of suburban life. Finally, on my last visit to Melbourne I took the chance to catch up with an old friend (we went to Chinese school together when we were twelve!) for an early breakfast at Coin Laundry in Armadale, mere steps from the train station.
Housed in what was presumably an old coin laundry, the tall ceilings and ample use of natural light lend the interior of the cafe a wonderfully industrial vibe. This is accentuated by the use of a roll of butchers paper mounted on the wall as a menu board – the chef only has to roll down the paper and start writing a new menu whenever it changes (frequently!).
My friend ordered sweet corn fritters which is accompanied with a colourful chop salad of the unusual and uncommonly used chicory. I tried the corn fritters, and found them well-spiced and seasoned and a sweet accompaniment to the stronger tasting salad.
In the mood for something somewhat sweet and somewhat savoury, I opted for smoked salmon and a poached egg on sweet sweet toasted brioche (my favourite bread!). Excuse the terrible photo which doesn’t really give an indication of how spectacular the dish really was. When I pierced the perfectly poached runny egg with my knife, the yolk trickled through the crunchy winter salad, mixing with the smokey tangy salmon. As a mouthful, the four elements on the plate blended together wonderfully – though I found the double slice of brioche somewhat overwhelming and left a slice on my plate by the end.
Overall, I found Coin Laundry to be a sweet little neighborhood cafe – the type that serves good, wholesome food and strong coffees that you can savour while reading the weekend papers. I rate it a strong 8 out of 10.