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13° & CLOUDY ON FRIDAY 17 AUGUST IN MELBOURNE
By Libby Curran
September 30, 2015
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Giddyup Mule

Another healthy pitstop opens up out west.
By Libby Curran
September 30, 2015
  shares

Yarraville's cafe boom rolls on with the latest addition, Giddyup Mule, parking itself in the front of Stephen Street's Art of Cycling training studio. With the help of a fireplace and some greenery, the owners have managed to carve a cosy little home out of the cavernous factory space. Add some sunny footpath seating and a brightly decked-out alcove at the entrance, and you've got one solid cafe pitstop — even if you've no intention of venturing further inside for a spin class.

The culinary offerings here are as virtuous as the location might suggest, and you'll find very little to inspire guilt; it's a coup, especially for the pre- and post-workout set. Clearly, Melbourne's fascination with the hyper-healthy stuff hasn't bypassed this Western corner, where you'll find locally-brewed kombucha on tap, spelt or paleo 'nutri loaf' offered alongside your usual bread options, and cashew whip as a toast topping.

The all-day menu spans a mix of quick-fix options and sit-down dishes designed to be lingered over. At the lighter end, a coconut water-infused bircher comes with poached pear and berry Co Yo ($12), while slabs of that nutri loaf, dense with seeds and nuts, are topped with avocado and lemon ($9).

More substantial dishes lend themselves well to lazy brunches by the fireplace, like the winter salad, which features maple-laced pumpkin, lentils, pearl couscous, radish ($15) and optional grilled chicken tenderloins (+$4). Equally seasonal is the mushroom ragout, here teamed with fluffy whipped ricotta, wilted spinach and a perfectly poached egg, sitting atop that spelt bread ($17).

Fans of Melbourne's one true love — a.k.a the avocado smash — will find lots to like about Giddyup Mule's version ($16.50). Not only is it generous with the green stuff, it's spiked with chopped boiled egg and feta, and teamed with cherry tomatoes, watercress and a zingy kombucha vinaigrette. The bread below it could withstand a touch more toaster time, though that seems to be by design across the menu, rather than dish-specific.

Axil coffee hasn't made too many appearances this side of town, but you can be sure it’s being given a good introduction here (from $3.50). If you're off the dairy, have it with Bonsoy, almond or even coconut milk. Fresh juices and smoothies, Chai Walli chai ($4.50) and teas by Tea Tonic ($4.50) round out the liquid offerings.

Despite all those superfoods and the converted factory digs, there's nary a hipster in sight. Instead, young staff give off a laid-back local feel, and the customers are a mix of gym-goers and unhurried weekend brunchers. If you're after a salubrious cafe fix, without the inner north crowds and price tags, roll west and seek out this little number before everyone else does.

Image credit: Courtney King

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