Sunday, October 7, 2012

OMG YUM @ Tree of Us

Last week I got an email from Christian, of the new Richmond cafe 'Tree of us' inviting me to come and visit. Tree of Us stands out from the formally industrial, now residential area of Richmond, thanks to a great tree and rooster artwork painted on one side of the corner cafe.

Inside, with two walls of the cafe windows, Tree of Us is a  lightfilled and cheery with potted plants hanging from the ceiling, and a church pew lining the solid wall. We were lucky enough to arrive on a quiet Monday morning, and the cafe had a easy vibe, welcoming us to the start of a busy week.

Cost wise, Tree of Us sits perfectly in the Poor Student Eats budget. My omelette sat well at around $14, and you can’t really beat a sit-down sammich for $8.

Although I debated between the smoked salmon and beetroot salad, I thought I'd live on the edge and ended up ordering the omelette with mushrooms, spinach, goat's cheese, and thyme. Omg yum. Textually, the omelette was spot on - soft and light without being firm or rubbery. I hadn't had mushrooms for ages, but this omelette has convinced me to return. Each component in the dish was well and truly present, complementary and flavourful without being too rich. I also enjoyed a substantial amount of goat's cheese hidden beneath the omelette's folds and there was just enough thyme to give a pleasant aroma to the meal. Top notch.

Antonia went for the less conventional pick of the 'chef's choice' sandwich, filled with peanut butter, honey and banana. A passionate banana detester for a long time, I never would have made this call, but a difference in preference is what friends of food bloggers are for. She really enjoyed the sandwich and its kooky combination of fillings, but said it would be nice to have another sweet element there as well, like strawberries for that added punch.

What I really liked about Tree of us is that it kind of bucks the trends most Melbourne cafes are following with vigor. The chairs have backs! The inside is warm and green, instead of cold and industrial! But the basic ingredients of a great cafe remain through their menu of quirky little dishes, great coffee and service that is informed and friendly, but allows for conversational-space too.

The Chef's choice sandwich

Both my friend and I agreed that it was great to see some new things on the menu. After a while, the brunch options from cafes begin to mimic each other - even with the quality ingredients they may contain. Sure, there are breakfast favourites that remain universally popular, but, to quote Antonia when everyone is serving 'smashed avocado with Meredith fetta' you can feel like you've read a menu once, twice, or three times before - but not so here. The simple dishes aren’t too foreign and you should be familiar with most of the offerings, but each is done so in a way that will bring new light to a old favourite.

Still in its first month, I look forward to seeing how Tree of Us grows in the future. They have strong the potential as a young cafe all ready to grow up. Pricewise, it’s spot on for a easy, hassle free breakfast, and I am looking forward to trying their dinner menu soon, and making a visiting their little courtyard for a Sunday session in the coming months. So if you ever find yourself in that strange divide between Bridge Road and Victoria Street, take a short walk down to Tree of Us for some good and wholesome brunchy fair. 

The hanging pot plants were super cute 






Good for: Easy and informal dining with groups of any size, a solid cup of coffee, cruisy breakfasts, dinners and for doses of sunshine, when the courtyard opens. 
Vegetarians: Will be happy with the selection on the menu as it caters for most eating preferences, with lots of healthy breakfast foods like eggs, mushrooms, lentils, beans and a couple of meaty options.
Wait time: Nil- we walked right on in.
Food waiting time: The perfect amount of time- about 10 minutes. Just enough to time to settle in before eating.
Cost: Good value, and one of the cheaper breakfast options I've encountered in Melbourne. You could easily come home with change from a 20 dollar note. 
Tree of us on Urbanspoon

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