Fitzroy cafe Bentwood proves a fitting homage to the Thonet furniture showroom that previously occupied its Napier Street home, not only named for the brand's iconic chairs, but boasting a dining room filled with them.
They're set beautifully against a warm, rust-hued fitout, where soaring ceilings, concrete pillars and walls of exposed brick give another nod to the building's industrial heritage.
Here, Julien Moussi (Elsternwick's Penta and Northcote's Tinker) is delivering another stand-out cafe, where attention to detail extends well beyond the decor, into the coffee cup and onto the plate. The caffeine offering comes courtesy of Moussi's own Inglewood Coffee Roasters, with a tidy range of specialty options to satisfy the coffee connoisseurs of Fitzroy.
Food here packs as much of a punch aesthetically as it does for the tastebuds, across a generous menu of brunch and lunch creations. You'll spy elevated classic like meringue-loaded hotcakes ($19) and an eggs benny with braised beef cheek ($20), sitting alongside contemporary hits like a poke-style assembly that comes atop slices of dark rye ($20). There's a big emphasis on seasonal produce and a clear love of vibrant veggies — team that with the designer backdrop and you've got one seriously Instagrammable experience.
Images: Kate Shanasy