Victoria Mill is a new daytime cafe on Brunswick St where Quick Brown Fox used to be. It aims to be a provedore and frommagerie as well as a cafe, which is convenient and good timing given the recent closure of the nearby former cheese cafe Shifty Chevre. The focus is on Victorian produced food.
As I make some effort to buy local, choosing Australian cheeses over imported ones at the Queen Victoria Markets and never buy imported wine by the bottle (occasionally I have a glass in a restaurant if it doesn’t have a suitable local selection), I appreciate this focus and its implications for food miles and sustainability.
I went yesterday for breakfast with a friend. They’re still waiting on their liquor licence but this did not affect us on this visit. I ordered the zucchini frittata with kaiserfleisch bacon, beetroot relish and rocket. My friend chose the Vic Mill breakfast, which is eggs how you like them with potato rosti and kaiserflesch bacon.
I really liked the frittata – it is very light and cake-like, and tasty too. The bacon was deeply satisfying and we lapsed into silence while devouring it. Given the saltiness of the bacon the subtlety of the beetroot relish was lost.
My friend liked her choice but when I tried a bit of the rosti I was surprised. I thought it looked strange – too smooth and neat in form. Rosi is a fritter of grated potato. Given the consistency of grated potato gently squeezed together it is usually not so symmetrical or smooth, and in the mouth it was dense and lacked texture, though it tasted good. The menu says it is house made and I don’t doubt it, but it’s not a proper rosti. The tomato relish it came with was better than the beetroot one I had.
The interior follows the current trend of minimalism, pale bare timber and the original stone walls complement this. We sat in the front and didn’t explore the space so I can’t report on accessibility, but I did notice two women with babies and pushers further back. It’s not cluttered or cramped inside.
The coffee was very good and the service helpful and friendly, albeit with too many interruptions asking if we were enjoying our meal. I appreciate new places are keen to make a good first impression, and don’t mind the question once, but it should come when collecting an empty coffee cup and offering another, not a separate interruption on its own. I know I’m being watched but don’t like being reminded of it.
Victoria Mill is very new and I may have visited too soon, as I usually try to give places a couple of weeks before I visit to give them the opportunity to get minor issues sorted. I’d definitely return for lunch as the menu offers some amazing sounding cheese platters, and a glass of local wine to accompany those would be excellent.