Friday, January 11, 2013

Seven Seeds

It's been a while since I've been in Carlton, likely as I spent more time than anyone would rightfully want to spend at university during the final year of my course. It took a bunch of good friends and the promise of good food to tempt me back. 

Many cafes were still closed, including our first destination of Middle Fish, so we ended up at the very busy Seven Seeds on a sunny Saturday morning. 

Seven Seeds
Seven Seeds are fairly famous for their coffee, roasting their own beans on location in the converted warehouse location. I'm not sure if they grow their own coffee plants (unlikely) but they do make for a nice decor. 

Coffee Plant
I order long blacks or long macchiatos and actually find the Seven Seeds coffee too bitter for my taste. My latte-sipping pals had no problem with it at all.

The food menu has improved tremendously since I was last here when my singular option was to order baked beans on toast. The naming is nowhere near as simple anymore with brioche french toast, maltaise eggs, sous vide eggs, heirloom tomatoes and all manner of slightly ridiculous names. It's a cafe, not a fine-dining restaurant.

One of my friends ordered perhaps the simplest dish on the menu, "soft-boiled free-range eggs, toast soldiers, herb salt".

Boiled Egg and Soldiers
He didn't complain, but it's hard to top Hardware Societe's rendition - they're closer to perfection than any other version. 

An adventurous member of our party ordered eggs scrambled with white miso, coriander and spring onions on crispy paratha roti, served with a mild green chilli sambal - or as I'd prefer to call it, Malaysian-style scrambled eggs.

Scrambed Eggs
Not necessarily a successful adventure was the verdict, but at least it wasn't hated. The concept was perhaps better than the execution, but I can't help thinking that standard scrambled eggs served with spinach/salmon/mushrooms etc. would have gone down better. 

The heirloom tomatoes with fior de latte, avocado, fresh herbs and vinaigrette on toasted sourdough was appreciated much more. 

Heirloom Tomatoes on Toasted Sourdough
Simple and fresh, perfect for a summer brunch. A successful dish! I ordered an interesting sounding salad that I hoped would be colourful - smoked ham hock salad with green beans, purple congo potatoes, mixed leaves with dijon dressing and sauce gribiche.

Ham Hock Salad
This dish was reasonable, although I did have to Google what a gribiche was (a classic French cold egg-based sauce). The serve was fairly large with a generous amount of salty ham. The purple potatoes were interesting, although not much different to your standard white ones. Perhaps they were healthier, not that I would know of course.

Seven Seeds is bustling and spacious with efficient service which was only let-down by their reluctance to replace empty water bottles. The food was average, but overly complicated and the coffee was not to my taste but has a very good reputation. All-in-all, I though Seven Seeds was trying too hard. Stay as a cafe that hopefully serves up decent food and coffee, and don't pretend to be a restaurant. It's located in a student area after all.

Seven Seeds
106-114 Berkeley Street, Carlton
Mon-Sat 7am-5pm, Sun 8am-4pm

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon