What’s behind a name? Depth and meaning, for starters. Penta is taken from the Greek word for five – which is the number of people behind this Elsternwick space- Julien Moussi, Kristy-Lea Deva, Nicky Campbell, Cory Slater and Stuart Deva. These 5 hospitality veterans are also behind numerous successful Melbourne cafes, such as Tinker of Northcote, Temperance Society in Hughesdale, My Other Brother in Camberwell and Age of Sail in Glen Iris. Having clearly found the magic formula for success – they are also renowned for their colourfully instagrammable and ever so delicious food.
More to the point, this ‘minimalistic space’ requires us to use all 5 senses to appreciate its goodness. Your sight will admire the architectural design, your taste and sense of smell will have you experiencing some of the finest coffee and cafe food Melbourne can offer, and you’ll be able to touch the elements and hear the atmosphere the Penta vibe creates.
Designed by Ritz & Ghougassian, Penta brings a progressive design to the Elsternwick café scene. Nothing about the fit overwhelms the senses. The floors and main coffee bar are made from concrete – stainless steel and perforated metal sheets adorn the walls and dark toned leather is draped over the terrazzo seating. The large window allows for natural light bringing an air of freshness into the room – while greenery adds balance to the simple grey tones.
What else can we deduce from the significance of Penta? … Seemingly, the Pythagoreans saw the number 5 as “Hieros Gamos”, which is the marriage between heaven and earth. This makes sense, because Penta in Elsternwick is the harmonious marriage between simplicity in style and palatability in flavour. Coffee is roasted by the team’s new roastery, called ‘Inglewood’. Corey recently learned the ropes at Mailliard Atelier, and now roasts the blend for all milk based coffee. Single origin beans for black coffee is sourced from Maker Fine Coffee and today’s offerings where both from African countries. My long black was made using the stunningly sweet Ethiopian Gelana Abaya, which is naturally processed. The ever so skilled barista Olivia seamlessly extracted a rich cup boasting complex fruit notes, which began with lemon zest, and finish with lingering sweet berry tones. Batch brew was also made using a naturally processed coffee, this time from Burundi. What I love about this particular coffee is that it comes from a washing station (Cafex) which is dedicated to improving the lives of coffee famers in North Kirundo.
When it comes to food, the menu features an array of healthy options filled with seasonal ingredients, such as Orange Blossom hotcakes with grapefruit curd, cacao nibs, strawberries and vanilla mascarpone; Sriracha grilled Salmon on raw zoodles; Nutella Panna Cotta with nut butter, banana sushi and honey joy crumbs; and Grilled Shawarma Chicken on a warm grain salad with herbs and sumac labne.
28 Riddell Parade
Elsternwick VIC 3185