The team behind quintessential Melbourne cafes Top Paddock and The Kettle Black have finally cut the ribbon on their long-awaited new venue. Located at the Southern Cross end of Little Bourke Street, Higher Ground has been in the works for well over a year, and after a technical fault that further delayed the opening last week, they've finally opened their doors to the public. And boy is it a beauty.
The huge, high-ceilinged 160-seat venue sits on the corner of Little Bourke and Spencer Streets in a former warehouse. The interior is impressive to say the least; a palette of exposed brick and green marble is spread across a multi-level space, which includes a raised area, an open kitchen, and a large mezzanine that holds couches, tables and its own bar. This is what it looks like The venue is serving up the same kickass cafe fare that its two siblings are known for, with the all-day menu including the likes of avo on toast, spiced cauliflower scrambled eggs and semolina porridge with cherry, umeshu, shiso and plum. The famous Top Paddock ricotta hotcake has made the menu too.
But they'll also be departing from the usual formula by staying open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. If you come by after dark, expect some pretty well-priced dinner dishes, like cured kingfish, ricotta gnocchi, lamb ribs and half a chook with truffle and lemon. Unsurprisingly, it seems these hospo legends have done it again and elevated Melbourne's cafe scene to — dare we say it — higher ground.