I first met Julien Moussi at Annoying Brother, back in 2012. I quickly learnt that he was the typical irritating little brother to four older sisters, and had a knack for making coffee. It wasn’t too long before he moved east with the opening of My Other Brother, Legacy, and Collective Espresso; and then South with Temperance Society, and Penta. December 1st 2016 saw Julien return to the hipster northern suburb of Northcote, with the opening of his latest venue, Tinker. He’s teamed up with mates Ben and Adam, Fiancé Kristy-Lea, and executive chef Nicky Campbell, to bring a crisp fresh space to High Street. What’s behind the name, you ask? Well, as a child, Julien had a reputation for his mischievous personality, especially during his school years when he met Ben. These mischievous dreamers have moved north to further their legacy in Melbourne’s café scene.
The venue itself is spacious, sleek, and features freshly painted white brick walls, a polished concrete counter, and three group Synesso Hydra alongside two Victoria Arduino Mythos One grinders. Melbourne based graphic design studio Pop & Pac created their branding, which reveals an opaline green and salmon colour scheme.
Coffee is roasted by Make Fine; and single origin of the day for espressos today was the Maven, aka. Colombian El Penol. This fully washed Castillo/Caturra lot was grown at 2100 meters above sea level in Eastern Antioquia. As a long black, it had a rounded body, with milk chocolate notes that dominated the cup. They also have batch brew available, and todays offering was the Flor Del Café from Costa Rica. This Villa Sarchi varietal was grown at around 1500 meters above sea level, and process using a golden honey method. This means it is characterised by panela sweetness, and sultana like flavours.
In true Nicky Campbell form, the menu has been designed to showcase seasonal ingredients, and flavour infused dishes. Breakfast include Mango & Saffron Panna Cotta; Smashed Peas with beetroot borane labne, black quinoa, haloumi, and feta on sourdough; and the Jaffa Hotcakes with orange curd, dark chocolate swirled meringue, and vanilla mascarpone. The Lunch menu features the Buttermilk fried chicken burger with smoked cheese and rosemary salted fries; Miso Baked Salmon with edamame salad; Braised Pulled lamb with beetroot hummus and dukkah crusted crostini; right through to the healthy vegan summer detox salad with wild rice, kale, sweet corn, pepitas, broccoli, and ginger dressing.
If you’re after a liquid meal, there are a selection of nutritious Smoothies, Milkshakes, Fresh Juice, and even alcohol. As a matter of fact, you can indulge in an Espresso martini, or wash lunch down with a beer, or glass of wine.
Tinker is open 7 days a week, from 7am to 4pm weekdays, and 8am to 4pm on weekends.
For the record, Julien Moussi is everything BUT a nuisance, and has done a world of good for the hospitality industry, and Melbourne’s café culture.
235 High Street
Northcote VIC 3170