Its a case of tic-tac-toery this morning! Ever walked into a café and thought, this place run efficiently? Well that’s precisely how I felt at Flemington’s newest café, Noughts and Crosses. There seems to be a natural flow from the moment you walk through the door, and the space itself appears to be utilised to its fullest. This was the main aim of the brains behind the café, Luke Armstrong, an accomplished interior designer, and veteran barista. Luke has worked at London’s ‘Kaffeine’, Berlins ‘The Barn’, as well as ‘Auction Room’ and ‘Filter’ in Melbourne. To say he is experienced behind the coffee bar, would be an understatement. Upon returning home from working in Europe, Luke decided it was time to design a cafe where workflow is paramount, with an effective structure and efficient operating systems.
Noughts and Crosses is clean, has a minimalist style, with lots of white, and pale timber features. Nothing here overwhelms the senses, rather, there is a sense of equilibrium.
Even the coffee, which is sourced locally from Small Batch, is balanced, placates ones craving, while also gratifying the palate. This is a feature of Small Batch Coffee that I have long appreciated. I’m always guaranteed a clean well rounded cup, where flavour and aroma fuse harmoniously. Fortunately, on the day I visited Noughts and Crosses, one of the roasters from Small Batch (Mac Dixon), was behind the Black Eagle slinging shots. Fortunate for me, as I have always believed when the person who methodically roasts a coffee, then brews that same coffee, there is a continuity that assures the coffee is extracted to bring out the flavours inherent in the beans. This is also a reason why it is important for a café to foster a healthy relationship with their coffee roaster. Continuity allows for consistency, which is exactly what Melbourne consumers want. I had the choice between two filter options, a Colombian, and a Guatemalan; or an espresso using the Candyman blend. I opted for a long black, which as I expected, delivered a balanced cup, with sweet smooth toffee highlights.
Just as the coffee runs smoothly, the service does too. Staff are friendly, yet not overbearing, and greeted us within seconds of our arrival. I do appreciate being acknowledged, even if I have to wait in a long line to get a table, it’s always nice to be granted the respect of acknowledging ones presence.
At the heart of the menu are healthy creative dishes, made using seasonal ingredients. Options range from the Avo Crush with ash Chevre, lemon, and tendril; Mushrooms with polenta and taleggio cheese; and Nduja scramble with burrata on grain toast.
Open from 7:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, and 7:30am to 5:00pm on weekends, Noughts and Crosses is giving punters another reason to visit this historic suburb made famous by the race that stops a nation.
Noughts + Crosses
28-32 Pin Oak Crescent
Flemington VIC 3031