Higher Ground Cafe - Keep on Believing
Stevie Wonder had the soul/funk going with his 70s hit Higher Ground, and Higher ground cafe in the Melbourne CBD also has plenty of soul as one of the best cafes in Melbourne. Like Stevie, Higher Ground Cafe has hit their groove with a winning combination of attractive food with finesse, excellent service and a large warehouse converted structure that is breathtaking. Yes this cafe, recently awarded best in Melbourne by Good Food is next level.
Nathan Toleman and his partners have excelled themselves after a string of cafe hits. Is it a cafe? Is it a cathedral? (Expecting Lenny Kravitz to appear on that balcony singing "Are you going my way?") What is the rent here? I think Higher Ground is next level - if you are taking out of towners to Melbourne you would do well taking them to Higher Ground. You can put this food up as a fine example of a Melbourne cafe. The menu showcases cuisine on trend, gangster and grammable. Chia dish? Yes - BUFFALO YOGHURT CHIA MUDDLED STRAWBERRIES , MINT, DRIED STRAWBERRY, PISTACHIO... Porridge? Not just any porridge but SEMOLINA PORRIDGE ROASTED AND FRESH BLUEBERRY, TONKA BEAN, LEMON BALM , BLACK SESAME. Love a "big breakfast" style brunch? You will probably order the MINCED LAMB FRY UP EGGPLANT, FRIED EGGS , PICKLED RHUBARB , SMOKED YOGHURT, PINE NUT DUKKAH, SOURDOUGH.. Smashed avo? Maybe you'd prefer SEASONAL AVOCADO CITRUS SALT, FINGER LIME SOURDOUGH...
We just popped in for a quick bite; after all we'd already had lunch and it was mid afternoon. What amazed us that even at 2.30pm there was a line up and 15 min wait for a table. Chin Chin-esque... (Plus we also came here for the launch of Good Food Month at night).
A small plate was in order of OVERNIGHT LAMB RIBS , GREEN SAUCE , OLIVE VINAIGRETTE. Incredibly presented dish with amazing lamb ribs but also sophistication in the sauce and vinaigrette. This is sexy food.
Another temptation is the BERKSHIRE BACON SANDWICH GRIBICHE , BROWN SAUCE. Really really thick bacon just how you want it to be in a toasted sandwich of note.
Another time we may step up to the STEAMED MARKET FISH JAPANESE BROTH , BLACKBEAN, VEGETABLE NOODLES , SESAME , SOY BEAN. Our kind of food. Or the perennial favourite of RICOTTA HOTCAKE MAPLE SYRUP, SEEDS AND GRAINS , CREAM , SEASONAL FRUIT AND FLOWERS.
Beverages here are on point including my filter coffee and an iced coffee.
Higher Ground is the perfect venue for an iconic function... The vibe draws on Ace Hotel (which we plan to visit soon) in USA and Soho House in London. After the day menu attention turns to the night menu - with shared dishes such asROASTED BUNDARRA PORK SHOULDER BRAISED IN CIDER AND LEMON VERBENA , BABY FENNEL and POACHED SASKIA BEER CHICKEN, HAINANESE STYLE , SPRING ONION SALAD, CRISP RICE. For steak lovers the obvious choice is the 350G GRILLED BUTCHERS CUT, SEASONAL GARNISH SMP.
Where can I get plants like this?
Higher Ground lives up to it's name!