One of the things we wanted to achieve with Espresso Melbourne was to find and champion great suburban cafes. If you live in the inner city, you’re likely spoilt for choice and paying for that luxury in the form of exorbitant rent. One of the things that will improve the livability of our ever outward expansion towards the suburbs is better amenities like cafes. So when we come across a little ripper like Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird, you know it’s going to the internetz pool room.
When it comes to suburbs known for great cafes, Gardenvale doesn’t exactly spring to mind. In fact what probably springs to mind is… meh. So what might one like about Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird? Well aside from having the snappiest name of any cafe going around, the coffee here is marvelous. Yep, marvelous. And well it might be, because it’s clear from the fit-out that these guys are pretty serious about doing great things with coffee. The size of their roaster is a dead giveaway that they intend making more coffee than they need to keep their customers in flat whites. Also explains the semi-industrial feel of the place; there’s a utility to the layout and a simplicity that just works. Rather than dull, they’ve ended up with a bright and airy space that is interesting for its unorthodox approach.
Food is similarly simple. Things on bread or muesli for breakfast, no eggs though, toasted flatbreads, rolls, salads and such for lunch. I had the breakfast special of torn basil, tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and some top notch olive oil. Exactly the sort of thing I’d make for myself, assuming I’d run out of bacon. The food is good, but it’s not the reason we love the place. No sir, that honour is reserved for the coffee. A couple of blends for both black and white coffee and some single origins too. They had an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on when I visited. Mmm mixed berries.
If you like great coffee and live anywhere near Gardenvale, you should take yourself down to visit the peeps at Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird. Great coffee, good food and nice people. Surely that’s your kind of thing?