It was a rainy morning and as I was in Carlton anyway, I thought of making my time worthwhile by visiting another hidden coffee spot. The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is a seemingly hidden place, where you wouldn’t even imagine a cafe would be.
You have to go down a street next to a fuel station, which doesn’t even look like a street in a normal person’s eye. As I was doubting my google maps gps in finding the correct location, I came to the street sign and had to salute google maps again.
Even though I could see the street sign, walking down the alleyway was still a little bit of a mystery for me. Feeling uneasy, I turned the corner, and there it was, welcoming me with the ‘now open’ sign. Maybe if it wasn’t raining, the self-doubt could’ve been less, as I would just follow the wafting scent of coffee. As I came closer to the door, I could feel my inner caffeine sensor kick in. All in all, at least I knew I was welcome here.
As soon as you walked in through the doors, you’re welcomed by the wait staff, and a nice cozy looking area filled with the scent of coffee. It’s not just the scent of the coffee, but a gloriously positioned coffee roaster and a display counter filled with coffee beans for those who are brave and skilled enough to make their own at home.
After taking in the fullness of the coffee scent, and also since I was holding up the wait staff in taking me to my table, I finally stepped into a whole new environment. If the entrance and coffee drinking area was a dark but cozy and comfy feeling, the dining area was bright and sunny, with plenty of sunlight pouring in through the skylights even on a gloomy rainy day. The addition of real greenery inside the room surely helped liven up the place too.
Once I was seated, it didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted some COFFEE! and also some food. The menu is a seasonal menu, and hence not the usual favourites are on the menu, but more little twists of this and that which trickled my curiosity.
The coffee and food was served in a timely manner, and although the food was a little too much in quantity for me (I always make the mistake of trying to eat everything on my plate even when I’m too full), the flavours were delicious, and the coffee definitely worth coming. And all through our meal and our extended conversation after the meal, we didn’t feel rushed or ignored, which I would have to give a lot of cudos to the wait staff for having that fine balance. It is a little on the far side for me, but I wouldn’t say no to venturing up here once in a while.
If there was a hiccup in the whole experience, it would maybe be the fact we ordered one flat white and one latte, and got delivered two flat whites. Although my friend didn’t mind the flat white, the wait staff were so worried they wanted to give the latte too. They’re still humans and make mistakes, but they acknowledge it and make you feel valued and cared for.
The Vertue of the Coffee Drink
8 Raffa Place Carlton,