MELBOURNE | Brother Alec Thornbury is a small cafe that I have passed a few times in recent years, but never really noticed until recently, when it was one of the few open, busy places on High Street in Thornbury on Boxing Day.
It’s a simple cafe with a very welcoming atmosphere. Lauren and I were greeted with a smile when we walked in the door and the friendly, attentive service continued the entire time we were there. The menu offers a focused selection of breakfast and lunch options – typical Australian brunch staples with flourishes of co-owner Jessica Moussi Lebanese background and Malia Sloman own style coming through. A small range of pastries and cakes are also offered.
Everything on the seasonal menu apart from the bread is made in-house and there’s a focus on quality ingredients from local suppliers.
Beans for the coffee rotate between blends and single origins from Espresso Syndicate with a selection of espresso based drinks on offer. I went for the Alaska, which is a double espresso with milk served in a tall glass over iced water with cold milk & sugar syrup on the side. I usually enjoy my coffee without sugar but this drink really benefited from the sweetness of the sugar syrup.
Long Black ($3.50)
Lauren’s long black, which she ordered over ice was exactly what she needed on a hot summer’s day. The single origin on offer was a Colombian bean which had really nice cocoa notes to it.
Wafer Coconut Joy ($14.50)
When we saw this on the menu we knew we had to order it. Poached fruit & coconut yoghurt wafer stack layered with fresh berries, edible flowers & candied pistachio crumb. Due to Lauren’s nut allergy we forewent the pistachio crumb but it was still very tasty. It wasn’t overly sweet and was quite light too.
Grilled Haloumi Roll ($13.50)
This roll was very Lebanese influenced and consisted of girlled haloumi, garlic labne, radish, mint, parsley and fresh spinach in the choice of a turkish roll or wheat tortilla. There were not Turkish rolls available on the day so I went for the replacement crusty roll instead. It was a very well balanced, tasty roll with great flavours and, like the wafers, nice and light.
Brother Alec has become a bit of a neighbourhood favourite since it opened in 2012 as it gets all of the basics right. The food and coffee are decent, the space is welcoming and the staff are super friendly. When we visited it was frequented by people from all walks of life. A great spot.
79 High Street
Mon – Fri: 7:00am to 3:30pm
Sat – Sun: 7:00am to 3:00pm