No, it’s not a tribute to the 1980’s rock band that had that hit, “I wanna know what love is”. Yes, that’s the first thing I thought when I arrived here. However, following a conversation with one of the charming bearded baristas, I soon realised the name was a reference to both the owner, and the coffee he was bringing to the area back in 2014. It seems, when the owner visited the area from his hometown of Dandenong, he fell in love with this North Eastern suburb, and though he felt like a foreigner, he endeavoured to bring coffee that was foreign to the area at the time (i.e. Specialty coffee). What’s more appropriate, the staff are all foreigners, and me being an ‘out of towner’ myself, ironically felt right at home here.
Semantics aside, this café is not only popular, but well designed. They recently expanded, and the team at Rubble Designs put their upcycling prowess to work, and created a clever fusion of French provincial and industrial design.
Coffee is from Industry Beans, and the single of the day was from Papua New Guinea. As a short black, it had a rich body, with sultana sweetness, and melon notes.
All day breakfast options include Ancient Grain Salad, Moroccan Eggs, Honeycomb Ricotta Hotcakes with Persian chocolate fairy floss & baklava ice cream, and Pulled Lamb Benedict served on a New York Bagel.
Lunch features hump it up grilled Camel patty with pickled veggies on a burger bun, Prawn & Corn fritters, Green Tea Noodles with grilled Salmon filter, and Cauliflower Kale salad with chai spiced raisins.
I sat at the front window bench, sipping my espresso, and pondering over the notion that there is no foreign land- it is the traveller only who is foreign. The Foreigner has fast become an Ivanhoe resident, and being from the South East of Melbourne, I technically was the real foreigner in this space.
31 Ivanhoe Parade
Ivanhoe VIC 3079