I had been a customer at several incarnations of cafe Ici on the corner of Napier and Kerr streets over the years, and hoped that its replacement Napier Quarter would also be good. I arrived for what, in my naturally nocturnal mind, seemed like breakfast at 12.02pm, but Napier Quarter is one of those places that switches the breakfast menu for the lunch menu promptly.
A very good coffee gave me the capacity for coherent thought and I chose the reuben sandwich. It comes toasted with plentiful meat, a generous amount of mustard, which is how I would do it myself, and amazing pickled fennel on the side. It was entirely delicious.
It was too early in the day for me for wine, but the list (and the rest of the menu) is enticing, including the Sicilian Hauner Salina bianco that is also available at Mr Ottorino and many good local wines.
I’m keen to return for dinner and wine sometime. The interior retains the same layout as Ici but the interior seems lighter and more spacious. It has evidently found a niche in the frenetic and competitive Fitzroy hospitality scene. Next on my list is the revitalised Rosamond, which is similarly a tiny former cafe that has chosen to deliver a more sophisticated offering.