23 Cafe

What’s in a number, you ask?

There’s a plethora of meanings in the case of Lee Seelig and her family. So much so, they named their café after one. The number 23 has had great significance throughout history, and that’s not just on the jumper of famous NBA players like Michael Jordan. You only need to look at human biology, to see each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, and it takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body.

For the Seelig family, it gets a little personal. Lee was born on the 23rd of February, his daughter was born on 17/06 (17+6=23), the address of the café is 194 (19+4= 23), and the number 23 has constantly popped up over the years. It all makes sense that the family would decide to open their Warrandyte Road café several years ago, and call it 23. Serendipitously, 23 is said to be a team-focused number in the realms of numerology, and symbolic of diligent work ethics, and the manifestation of one’s aspiration. It’s team effort, and the desire to achieve the goal of providing a space where people can visit and feel like they are guests being welcomed into their family home, that has seen café 23 prosper over the years. Lee and her mum have decorated the large extended space with their most cherished movie artworks and paraphernalia, as well as a tribute wall for photos of their customer’s prized cars. While visiting, I watched as locals walked in with mile wide smiles, greeting staff by their first name, and exchanging playful banter with the charming barista, Alessio, whom the Seeligs have adopted as one of their own following his recent migration from Italy. Lee’s husband Dave heads up the kitchen, and presents a cracking menu that has something for everyone, from Bacon and Apple Benedict on Turkish Bread; Panko Egg Nest with Parmesan & Potato Rosti; Mac and 3 Cheese Fritters; 5 spice pulled pork burgers; through to the vegetarian Gyoza Bowl , and Falafel Salad.

Coffee is care of the wonderful team at Dimattina, and the Grand Tazza blend presents a balanced rich cup, with a Belgium chocolate finish. Thankfully for me, they offer a selection of alternative milks that are diary free, at no extra cost. So I was able to enjoy my coffee both black and white, which Alessio extracted with great care on the Sanremo machine.

With the increasing trend around Melbourne that sees fitouts and insta worthy venues taking precedence, it’s so refreshing to see a venue doing exactly what a café fundamentally should do- providing customer focused service, and wholesome food with coffee to match.

Located at the foot of the Yarra Ranges, you’ll find Café 23 at 194 Warrandyte Road, Ringwood North.

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