It’s time for Seven:am
Apr 29 2010
7.00 AM ON A SATURDAY MORNING
Tubbymistress is sitting cross-legged on her bed, bleary-eyed, the morning light and a disobedient body clock ending all hope of a rare sleep-in. She sleepily pushes her Justin Bieber-esque fringe out of her eyes and stares at the bedroom door, fully aware that Tubbymaster and an early morning jog are lying in wait on the other side.
The door opens, and Tubbymaster steps into the room, looking as tired as Tubbymistress feels.
155 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC
Seven:am is like your super-cool interior-designer friend’s pad – if a few extra tables and chairs were thrown into their living room. This café, recently opened on Bay St, is an eclectic mix of exposed brick and wood, with orange and black accents that add equal portions of quirkiness and style. Two bicycles are suspended from the ceiling alongside bulbous lights that look like they’ve been coated with stringy caramel; the day’s newspapers sit atop a beautiful old door that doubles as the communal tabletop; a mish-mash of framed photos hang on the wall. You have a feeling the piano has seen better days, now reduced to a pretty prop that holds drinking glasses and books. Regardless of the décor’s function, it all adds up to a relaxed, inviting feel that’s just right for breakfast.
It’s the little things I like about Seven:am – the water jugs, infused with mint; the Noisette fruit toast, resting on a honey-drizzled dish; the fruit salad, stacked with seasonal fruits that would put Nacional’s version to shame; the menu itself, printed on a brown paper bag, reminiscent of a high-school lunch order.
I also liked the warm mushroom bruschetta, reminiscent of the yum roasted portobello mushrooms on corn muffins at Lord Cardigan; it continued my love affair with soft goats cheese, the balsamic vinegar cutting through the mushroom-y creaminess of the whole equation. Tubbymaster favoured the omelette, also served on sourdough; it looks like Phantom of the Opera from this sunny angle but is packed with oomph, i.e. fetta, spinach and roasted cherry tomatoes. Both mueslis (bircher and healthy nut and seed) are great, the former served with apricot coulis, the latter a pretty combination of fresh fruit, muesli and yoghurt that really does taste like it’s good for you. I haven’t tried the pancakes yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time before I cave in. The smell of cinnamon from a neighbouring table was so enticing, I felt like going home and baking. (Sadly, this does not happen often.)
Seven:am captures the very reason I like to go out for weekend breakfast: it’s comfortable, a great place to kick back with a newspaper, and the food is worth stepping out for. The latte pictured at the top of this post, affectionately named the ‘swimming pool’ sized coffee by one of the waitresses, is indicative of why the café is becoming more and more popular; in our opinion, it’s consistently better than its equivalent at the increasingly hit-and-miss Noisette. The café is also open for lunch and, judging by their website, opening hours will be adjusted to accommodate night-time snacking. Given that we’ve almost eaten our way through the entire breakfast menu, next time we’ll be back a little later than 7 am.