All the stars seem to have aligned for couple Cody Nesbit and Tash Strachan, when they opened their first café with Tash’s sister Chloe last year. ‘Kodama’, which is named after Japanese spirits made popular in the 1997 film, Princess Mononoke, has undeniably made its mark in Williamstown; and in light of how busy it is on any given day, it’s proven itself a much appreciated addition to this bayside suburb.
Historically, Williamstown was known for its major cargo port. Today, it’s blessed with stunning views of Melbourne’s city skyline, and a picturesque foreshore adorned with sailboats. Its most obvious deficiency was a quality driven café dedicated to the provision of specialty coffee. Enter Kodama. Cody, Tash, and Chloe originally intended to open a coffee bar in Melbourne’s east, until a trip to the west instigated a series of research expeditions that uncovered a black spot in the market. It wasn’t too long before the trio unearthed this shopfront off the main drag, and hand built their dream from scratch. Chloe being a designer by trade, took to the drawing board with Tash, devising a minimalist style venue in line with the Japanese theme. Cody, who worked at Axil Coffee Roasters before Kodama opened, had all the coffee know-how under his belt, and also put his woodworking skills to good use, building the main counter from recycled timber sourced from local timber yards.
Since its inception, Kodama’s imperative has been to provide exceptional service, with coffee and food to match. Staff pride themselves on their customer focused ethos, and are known to frequent the café themselves on their days off. They also pride themselves in being the first café in Williamstown to offer filter coffee. Beans are sourced from Axil, with both espresso and filter options, including bottled cold brew made in-house. Cody possesses an enthusiasm and passion for coffee, which shines through in every cup. The Seasonal Blend is used for all milk based coffee, offering a balance which parallels the venue’s style. I was treated to a Costa Rican Long Black from Finca El Pilon. It was highlighted by sweet strawberry flavours, and a clean finish.
The all-day menu has a Japanese theme, with flavoursome dishes such as the Smashed Avo, edamame & puffed wild rice on multigrain with seaweed butter; Braised Ox Cheek on Savoury waffles; Chilli Scrambled eggs with oyster mushrooms, fermented chilli and goat’s cheese on sourdough; and Pulled Pork tacos with house Kim chi and Gochujang mayo. For those with a sweet tooth, pastries from Candied Bakery, and cookie sandwiches from Butterbing adorn the front display counter.
Just like in the movie Princess Mononoke, this ‘Kodama spirit’ has brought good fortune and shelter from harm to the folks of Williamstown, in the form of quality specialty coffee. With its simple yet stylish interior, Kodama offers a calm space with a convivial atmosphere for locals and visitor to Williamstown alike.
Open daily from 7am –to 4pm, and 8am to 4pm on weekends.
69-71 Stevedore Street