One of the best by-products of Melbourne’s endless café boom is that you become a tourist in your own city. You follow the coffee aroma smoke signals to some nuggetty little pocket of town that isn’t on your train line and bam! There near the dusty IGA and the old-school pharmacy, you’ll find some java magic.
Case in point: The Premises in Kensington. Sure, Kenso’s not the back of beyond but it’s not exactly a tourist hotspot.
The Premises sits on the corner of Bellair and Macauley, the L-shaped room working a very 1940s black and pistachio vibe complete with a vintage kitchen dresser holding a stash of Nan Kath’s chutney.
Breakfasts are quality standards of eggs, bircher, rockin’ housemade beans, and seasonal fruit while brunches and lunches get a bit more out there with Russian egg salad, and creamed corn on toast with a fried egg, cumin salt (and optional Newmarket bacon – take the bacon). The pulled pork (insert Beavis and Butthead snigger) is amazing – shredded, tender and cinnamony, with a mustard slaw, slow roasted apple and a pickle. Very East European. The Premises are not afraid of pickles. I applaud that. Should be more of it.
Now the coffee. The Premises are using Seven Seeds, and I ordered the Panama Esmeralda pour over, which was served in a regulation white cup and saucer. If you didn’t know what you were in for, you’d be wondering what this cup of 75c diner coffee was doing in front of you. But oh no. This is one wild ride, with a nutty aroma to start, a fruity, almost pinot noir-ish flavour in the middle and a lingering tang to finish, like a cheeky slap on the ass.
Apparently The Premises have got some Kilimanjaro from London’s Square Mile roasters coming in. ‘It’s like fruit punch,’ the waiter told me. Now that’s my kinda luau.