For about a year from late 2010 to late 2011 CERES ran a smart restaurant called Merri Table. I visited twice and enjoyed it greatly and was surprised when it abruptly closed. Since then CERES has reopened the space as a more casual daytime cafe, which is now their only cafe as the original cafe is closed pending redevelopment. I visited with a friend recently for brunch and we ate a Vietnamese salad with tofu and Indonesian eggs with rice and tamarind sauce. Both were most enjoyable and suited the style of the venue.
When the original restaurant opened the grounds around it were unfinished, a building site of gravel and stored materials. I noted it was not very accessible and, although the carpark and surrounding space is finished, there still seems to be stretches of rough ground and gravel, which reduce accessibility, between the road and the cafe.
CERES says it is developing an accessibility plan that should be complete by 2018, with implementation presumably to follow. Its surprising that such a recent development didn’t have a better focus on accessibility. Seeing how the building’s use has changed and the scruffiness it now displays, it seems less than what it was originally planned to be. It’s not exactly meeting its potential and this is disappointing to see. Merri Table cafe is good and worth visiting and I may return, but it’s not special, and it lacks the innovation and style of the original Merri Table.