I confess, I was a child of the 80s that watched Play School, and I always wanted Benita to look through the Arch shaped window! Come on, fess up- you too had a favourite window. So you can imagine my joy when I saw multiple arch windows of massive proportions at Higher Ground. It is a fitting feature of this outstanding venue, considering the arch symbolises leadership and strength. These are qualities the team behind Higher Ground truly hold. Nathan Toleman, Ben Clark, Diamond Rozakeas and Sam Slattery have proven themselves in Melbourne, with cafes like Three Bags Full, Two Birds One Stone, Top Paddock, and the Kettle Black. They have continued their fine form, and have used their Midas touch at this all day food and drink destination.
Housed in a former power station, Higher Ground blends elements of strength and beauty, such as terrazzo, marble, cork, timber, steel, stone, and concrete; all encased within its original brickwork. It’s split into multiple levels, with a large open dining section that permits privacy without compromising ambiance,and adorned with an abundance of plants. The upper level feels more like a hotel lobby, with comfortable lounge chairs, table lamps, and a corner bar with its own La Marzocco Linea.
The main coffee bar features a La Marzocco Linea PB, two Mythos One grinders, an ek43, and a batch brewer. Coffee is roasted by Square One, and their house blend is composed of Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans that deliver a balanced cup with chocolate caramel tones both with or without milk. Single origin beans are also available for black coffee, and they currently have a washed Kenyan offering, which is both sweet and rich, with notes of tangerine and blackcurrants.
Similar to its sister cafe Kettle Black, the menu here exhibits lots of fresh and native Australian produce, from growers such as Springhill farm, Savour & Grace, and Villa Verde. The Day menu features Seasonal Mushrooms with soft polenta, hazelnut, and sourdough crumble; Minced lamb fry up with pomegranate and smoked yoghurt; Spiced cauliflower scrambled eggs; Ricotta hotcakes; and Wagyu short rib rolls with sesame and daikon. The Night menu offers lighter options like Charred brussel sprouts, as well as protein rich meals like Salt grass lamb ribs; Baby calamari with whipped goats curd and ink; Cured Kingfish; and Beef tartare with anchovy emulsion.
Be it day or night, Higher Ground offers a unique cafe experience not seen before in Melbourne, and is located just across from Southern Cross Station. It’s open daily from 7am to 4pm, and til 11pm on Thursdays to Saturdays.
650 Little Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000