Introducing Fig & Walnut, Seddon’s latest café, and the dream that yesterday become a reality for the exceptionally passionate café owner, Vera Xanthis. It’s not often I venture out to the west of Melbourne, but the lure of a café with such an abundance of symbolism was irresistible. Having had a fig tree in my backyard all my life, I’ve long appreciated the notion that figs connote abundance and beginning, and are regarded as sacred by many people around the world. Upon entering Fig & Walnut café, I quickly learnt that this venue has a wealth of inherent meaning. It seems the story behind the name, is as rich as the coffee extracting through the stylish Synesso on the front counter, and the venues fit out. The rear of the properties not only features an outdoor deck area, herb garden, and cubby house; but is also adorned with fig and walnut trees. The story is, Vera’s landlord was disciplined as a child for picking a fig from a neighbour’s tree, and made a promise to himself, to one day have his own fig tree. He went one step further, and paired it with a walnut tree. Fig & Walnut’s name pays homage to his dream achieved.
The hospitality industry isn’t foreign to Vera; her family own Alfa bakehouse, and her business partner Goran, owns Kinship & Co in Melbourne’s CBD. With the support of family and friends, they have created a charming café with ample space, where everything old is new again. The fit out is dotted with upcycled and salvages fixtures, such as a church pew that offers seating along one of the larger walls, and a 120 year old counter. Out front sits a Vintage coin operated kiddie ride, named Dino, which I can confirm is in good working order. Inside, there’s a mixture of elegant marble countertops, wallpaper, and Chesterfield lounge suite; rustic brick walls; concrete washing station with exposed copper piping; and handcrafted timber tables. Possibly the most striking elements of the café, are the beautiful chandeliers suspended from the ceiling above the dining area.
The atmosphere is laid-back and conducive to conversation; and a sense of community. Much like a walnut, the solid brick walls serve as a shell that envelops an inner treasure
The carefully crafted menu focuses on nourishing meals, and is Mediterranean inspired. The breakfast menu features Gruyere cheese & chive omelette on sourdough; Baked field mushroom crostini with whipped ricotta and caramelised onions; Beetroot fritters on pea puree; and House made hummus on sourdough toast with edamame and sautéed kale.
Lunch options include Greek lentil soup, Zucchini & haloumi skewers, and Crispy skin salmon with ancient grains. If you need some extra protein, there’s an option to add 120 gram portions to your meal, such as poached coconut chicken, char grilled lamb back strap, and pan seared salmon.
Coffee is sourced from Industry Beans, and their Rose Street Blend has red cherry and cocoa notes, with soft citrus acidity. They also have Greek coffee, and a selection of coffee alternatives, such as Turmeric lattes, and Cold Press Juices and Smoothies loaded with nutritious ingredients.
Fig & Walnut
11-13 Bellairs Avenue