Old Space, New face.
‘Black Gold’ – is a fitting name for a café – just opened in Richmond … it is close enough to the “Yellow and Black” brigade who call Richmond home. More to the point, there’s ‘black gold’ flowing daily from the La Marzocco Linea at this Lennox Street Corner spot. The couple behind this latest addition to Melbourne’s foodie scene are Azem and Aisha Dzevlan, who thought it was time they turn their dream into a reality. Aisha comes to hospitality from the Real Estate theme, and has that charming smile and bubbly personality every café needs in this day and age. Meanwhile, Azem has 14 years under his belt as a chef, having worked at prominent restaurants such as Maha in Melbourne, Bistro Thierry in Toorak, and most recently Smith & Singleton in Parkville. Azem gets most his inspiration from fine dining, and decided to bring that experience into a casual café setting. Azem gets most his inspiration from fine dining, and decided to bring that experience into a casual café setting. Being Melbourne, they had to pair it up with quality coffee, and went with Canberra’s much loved Ona Coffee. That’s right, they are sourcing their liquid gold from the roastery that is home to Australia’s current Barista Champion (Hugh Kelly), and former world barista champion, Sasa Sestic. This alone was enough to trigger my interest, being a long-time fan of Ona coffee.
The building itself has a history of its own – previously home to Barrio 3121, LSX café and has even housed a Printing company which survived a fire, way back in the early 20th century. It’s since had the ‘Midas touch’ and you feel the warmth, the moment you walk in. White washed brick walls serve as an ideal canvas for the hanging greenery and scatter cushions on the banquette seating- creating a cosy and homely feel.
The menu is inspired by fine dining and has a ‘Modern Australian’ theme with a point of difference. Azem takes pride in his emphasises on healthy organic ingredients and dishes that are made from scratch – including the air dried wagyu, miso smoked salmon, and relishes. All dishes have gluten free options, and vegan alternatives are available. A sample of the menu includes the Mushroom Burger with truffle mayo on a charcoal bun; Organic soft polenta with pistachio pesto, ricotta, and puffed quinoa; Egg Martini with miso house smoked salmon, charred corn, and parmesan emulsion; and the very photogenic Acai Pancakes with whipped ricotta, vanilla bean, dessert lime & pepper gel.
The customised La Marzocco Linea pumps out Ona Coffee’s ‘Raspberry Candy’ blend, which is self-explanatory – it’s a super sweet and smooth blend, which is highlighted by sweet berry notes. In actual fact, it’s a blend made up of 2 exquisite Ethiopian Yirgacheffe offerings – the Areka Natural and Leku washed. No surprises this self-confessed Ethiopian addict is a fan of this blend. Filter coffee will also be available, thanks to the trusty Moccamaster.
Black gold is a treasure trove for those prospecting for deliciousness.
285 Lennox St