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9° & CLEAR SKY ON SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER IN MELBOURNE
By Julia Sansone
August 28, 2019
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Ether Coffee + Kitchen

Avondale Heights' lush cafe with a dangerously yolky breakfast burger.
By Julia Sansone
August 28, 2019
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Having been open for just shy of a month, Ether is the latest cafe to land in Melbourne's western suburb of Avondale Heights. And it's serving up speciality coffee and a hearty brunch menu inspired by the classical elements: earth, air, fire, water and ether.

"Our focus is coffee, which is essentially a combination of the elements," says owner Adem Kolege. "Coffee beans come from the earth, you add water and you use fire to create the steam giving you the final product."

Kolege, who previously owned and ran a cafe in West Melbourne as well as a coffee and gelato pop-up in Melbourne Central, decided to open this latest venture in his home suburb of Avondale Heights.

"I always had the idea to open a cafe here," explains Kolege. "I nearly got the spot three years ago but it didn't work out, so when the space recently became available again, I knew it was fate."

Having a Turkish background, Kolege has created a menu that stays true to a classic brunch experience, but also has an undeniable Turkish influence. As an added bonus, many of the key ingredients are being made in house.

"We try to make as much as we can," says Kolege. "Our basil pesto, chilli jam, granola, dukkah and sweet potato rosti are all made right here in the cafe."

On the menu you'll find dishes like the Ether Bowl, which is made up of quinoa, beans, spiced broccoli, pumpkin puree, avocado and house-made chilli hummus, as well as with optional additions like poached eggs, haloumi and Moroccan chicken.

The 'Avo-Heights' avocado smash is a highlight, featuring salty herbed feta, house-made almond dukkah and a side of Angus beef 'bacon', giving this quintessential Aussie brunch dish a twist.

For a quick fix on the run, the Breakfast Brioche Burger is already popular among locals. Filled with the usual suspects of egg, cheese, bacon and chilli jam, the dangerously yolky burger is finished off with Ether's house-made sweet potato rosti infused with ground spices.

The minimalist and light-filled space, lined with quirky vintage tiling and hanging plants, was designed by Kolege and his brother, who also run a side project designing home and work spaces.

In addition to the cafe's rotating single origin coffee menu, Kolege will start serving up traditional Turkish coffee in the near future, as well as extending the menu to feature seasonal food specials.

Images: Julia Sansone.

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