October 13, 2009
300 Smith St, Collingwood
On an overcast, miserable and drizzly Sunday, I'm taken out by my wonderful girlfriend for a birthday breakfast and most importantly, coffee.
The destination is Cavallero, a long bright dining hall reminiscent of an elegant minimalist hunting lodge.
We're greeted at the door by a personable and friendly staff member who quickly seats us with water and menus. I have to take time to mention the menus. Thick dark brown leather folder filled with crisp cream pages of tantalising options to slay my hunger.
At this point I'm thinking this may have to be my new regular.
After a frazzled looking waitress took our order, I settled into people watching and soaking up the energy of this colossal space.
My coffee arrives as a short machiato not a short black, as ordered. I politely ask the waitress for a short black not short mac, at this she replies 'you mean an espresso' and walked away.
My 'espresso' was at my table about 2 minutes later. Quite quickly, considering the mass of people in the place.
It looked as though it had been sitting for at least a minute before coming to my table as the thin crema was clinging for dear life to the sides of the cup leaving a 10c piece of dark coffee exposed in the centre of the cup. By this stage, desperate for the taste of coffee, I took a sip of the luke-warm liquid.
It was watery and flat, very little body or acidity and lacking in personality in the flavour department.
As I finished, the girlfriends strong latte arrived with a thin head of bubbly foam that disappeared by the first sip to leave a greyish milky brew. After the first sip she sent it back for a stronger one which was equally disappointing.
Our food arrived soon after and wiped the disappointment off our faces.
I have to take my hat off to the kitchen. One of the best breakfasts we've had out since being in Melbourne.
A pity the coffee and service from the waitress let down the rest of the team in this otherwise great venue.
My final word, Cavallero is a great place to go for breakfast or lunch and make your way through the wine list, but go somewhere else for coffee first. No beans for now.
I'll be back in a few weeks to see if there's a change.