Stovetop Cafe in Carlton
Stovetop Cafe is one of the best cafes in Melbourne and its move to a new premises next door from the original was a masterstroke (about 18 months ago). The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience Stovetop and its compelling menu and coffee.
Top notch coffee culture.
Stovetop has one of the best vibes in Melbourne of any cafe. We enjoyed the previous incarnation which was a Scandinavian theme but the fresh Stovetop expression is wonderfully light and airy. With plenty of space, high ceilings, modern fixtures and a few indoor plants, this is the place to be. Certainly for Uni students who flock to this cafe during the week, being located right in the heart of Uni land.
Amazing vibe for a weekday lunch. Not many cafes have this buzz on weekedays.
George one of the owners tells us that Stovetop originally was founded on his family values and is an extension of the family table. And it feels like that when you enter the cafe; as if you're invited to the family table. George speaks of "heart and soul"; and with engaging welcoming staff at Stovetop (including George himself) this certainly is a haven of "heart and soul". The dishes are generous and there's plenty of signatures to choose from, from the Stovetop (big) brekky to the Stovetop benny to a range of classics but also exotic non typical cafe dishes.
I ordered a classic and rewarding Parma being a Panko and Parmesan crumbed chicken breast with grandmother ham, tomato sumo, burrata, chopped cabbage salad, hazelnuts and served with battered steak fries.
Nasi Goreng was excellent but I'd recommend the chicken add on option.
While my friend Russ ordered a Nasi Goreng (a non typical cafe item that hit the high notes) with fried rice, tofu, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, Chinese broccoli and fried egg. The Nasi Goreng was excellent but we should of ordered the option to add chicken - that really makes the dish.
For dessert we enjoyed a Banana and Nutella Pancake special that is rumoured to be destined for the new menu. This was a vibrant delicious dish with thick Nutella inspired pancake combined with ice cream, banana, and blueberries and raspberries, overlaid with a syrup.
Double caffeinated. I was keen for a second coffee.
Coffee here is also a serious business with the name stovetop of course referring to the coffee apparatus. Stovetop has its own blends, guest blends, 5 senses coffee and you will find cold drip, filers, espresso and stovetop coffees. My latte was first class. The cafe was packed on a weekeday lunchtime and it was hard for punters to get a table or even perch at the counter. Students gather for coffee but also it seems for the food. Generous servings of quality dishes at reasonable prices is compelling. Highly recommended.