Nestled in leafy suburban Kew, Adeney Avenue is the last place you'd expect to find a bustling cafe. But for locals, this former milk bar has been given a new lease on life as Adeney Milkbar Cafe — a special little place that brings new meaning to homely hospitality.
The project of siblings James and Cat Laskie, Adeney has so far remained somewhat of a neighbourhood secret. Situated in a quiet residential area, very close to schools and facing an expansive outdoor park, it's the perfect local hangout for those in the know. The pop in, come-and-go-as-you-please atmosphere is welcoming to both regulars and first time visitors. It's the kind of gem you'd hope to discover on a Sunday drive.
The cafe's fit-out has been approached with a consistent and thoughtful eye, from the pot plants in the window to the ivy-drenched outdoor area. With lots of natural light, it's an enticing spot to while away a free weekday afternoon, or a place to settle on a Saturday with the little ones in tow. An impressive line up of reading material to peruse over a balanced, nutty coffee ($3-4.50) seals the deal.
While service is sometimes inattentive, such distraction is made up for by generous servings that are carefully presented using extremely fresh, high quality ingredients. Stalwarts of a great cafe breakfast will feel right at home with the avocado, feta and mint on wholegrain sourdough ($12) — one of the best on Melbourne's scene, without the exorbitant price tag. Similarly, the porridge with poached pear, raisins and pistachio ($11) is a hearty option and perfect for winter mornings, and a selection of smoothies ($7) also triumph, hitting the perfect balancing point between sweetness and health. At lunchtime the menu continues with simplicity, accented by dishes such as the Thai salad with chicken ($18), proving a draw card if you feel like a step outside the norm.
With simple food and cosy surrounds, Adeney Milkbar Cafe has mastered the communal vibe. You could sit in the comfort of your own home, but — if you're lucky enough to have this as your local — you'd be silly to miss it. Come over, stay a little longer and settle in. You'll be well looked after.