Higher Ground, Melbourne

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MELBOURNE | Higher Ground Melbourne was one of the hottest breakfast spots to open in 2016, although calling it simply ‘a breakfast spot’ is understating things. Higher Ground is run by the same folks behind hugely popular cafes Top Paddock and The Kettle Black, and is described by co-owner Nathan Toleman as being “not really a restaurant, not really a cafe – people can come in for coffee or lunch and stay for dinner”.

Located in a heritage listed 19th century power station, no expense has been spared in restoring and fitting out the 130 pax space. Natural sunlight pours through the large arched windows and fills the cavernous, 15 metre tall high ceiling space. Exposed brick, concrete pillars and polished surfaces all help to create a dramatic statement of intention, while smart use of greenery helps to balance things out. The space changes over three levels, with an barista bar, lounges, booths, regular tables and seats and stools creating distinct zones for an appropriate seating style no matter the situation. The result is a venue that’s surprisingly welcoming, with service that’s smart, attentive and efficient.

Higher Ground is open for breakfast and lunch every day of the week, and open for dinner from Thu-Fri. Co-owner and head chef Nate Wilkins heads up an 18-strong team with a resume that reads like a whose who of Melbourne hotspots – Supernormal, Jacques Reymond, Pope Joan and Magic Mountain Saloon. The result is a menu that features refined versions of Melbourne cafe favourites, with presentation to match the flavours. For breakfast, avocoado comes served with finger lime, as a half next to, rather than smashed, on toast. A minced lamb fry up comes with eggplant, fried eggs, pickled rhubarb, smoked yogurt, pine nut dukkah and sourdough. There’s even steamed market fish on the brunch menu, served with Japanese broth, blackbeans, vegetable noodles, sesame, and soy beans.

The dinner menu shares the same DNA as the brunch menu, featuring dishes like poached saskia beer chicken, Hainanese style spring onion salad and crisp rice. Drinks wise it’s an assortment of coffee roasts and brews from Square One Roasters, and an impressive range of teas from Assembly and Larsen & Thompson. Breakfast cocktails, sprizters and shrubs help to provide even more variety to the drinks menu. At night, local and international wines are the focus, along with a few beers, cocktails and spirits.

Does Higher Ground meet the lofty expectations that were piled upon it before opening, now that the hype has worn down? Yes and no. It’s not a revolutionary venue, and in many ways the food isn’t as interesting as that at Top Paddock and Kettle Black. Having said that, it still ticks all of the right boxes. The space is gorgeous, service is great, and the food and drinks are very tasty. Higher Ground might not be a ‘must visit’ venue, but if you do visit you’ll likely leave very satisfied.

Higher Ground

650 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 8899 6219
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.highergroundmelbourne.com.au/

Open
Mon – Wed: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Thu – Fri: 7:00am to 4:00pm; 5:30am to 11:00pm
Sat: 8:00am to 4:00pm; 5:30am to 11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am to 4:00pm

Higher Ground Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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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