ARRA Coffee & Wine, Fitzroy

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MELBOURNE | I recently headed into Fitzroy to visit new cafe and bar ARRA Coffee & Wine. I was invited in owners Armin Nasr and Ruby Lai, who opened the cafe last month after almost a year of delays… because COVID.

Located at the “Maccas” end of Smith Street, ARRA is a small venue, with a slick, modern interior, and a uniquely designed inverse bar which helps to opens up the space and bring the bar staff and action closer to the customers.

As the name suggests, the main focus at ARRA is coffee and wine, with a considered selection of different brews and wines on the menu. The small food menu is designed to pair with the coffee and wine, and is split into day time and night time dishes (the entire menu is available all day, however).

Browsing through the food and cocktail menu, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of flavours and ingredients that reminded me of my visit to Iran, along with a few things that evoked memories of trips to Hong Kong. Talking to Armin, I soon found out why. Armin has Persian heritage and Ruby has Hong Kong heritage.

Most of what’s on offer is made from scratch, on site, and the plan is, as the venue finds its feet, for than most to eventually become everything.

To start, my first coffee inside a venue since lockdown started. A flat white using Single O beans and St David’s Dairy, in a lovely locally made Kristin Olds cup was exactly what I needed.

The food is all really tasty. Not a dud amongst what I enjoyed. Highlights include the fragrant rose and cardamom Persian love cake, the Hong Kong style buttery pineapple bun, and the coconut rough like gluten free brownie.

On the savoury side, the brisket toastie with house pickled chillies is great, as is the house made terrine.

Talking to Armin and Ruby, it’s clear that they are really passionate about what they are doing at ARRA. After the trials and tribulations of 2020, it’s great to see people being able to once more bring their hospo dreams to fruition. One with a lot of potential, and some points of difference that I’ll definitely be returning to.

ARRA Coffee & Wine

13 Smith Street
Fitzroy
Victoria 3065
Australia

Telephone: 0450 669 851
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Wed: 8:00am to 3:00pm
Thu – Sat: 8:00am to 11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am to 9:00pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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