There are little pockets of the world which are known for certain things. Lygon Street in known for pizza, the top end of the city known for little tiny cocktail bars — you get where we're going. The spot on Brunswick Street, just on the northern side of Alexandra Parade has never really been known for much. There is that vegetarian pizza place and some nice houses a lot of us can't afford. But now, Mio Locale and the new Bellini apartment building that adjoins it, might just make something of this barren Brunsick Street strip.
Mio Locale has been opened by brother and sister Maurice and Emily Paladino, a pair who know how to treat their customers just like family. They've brought in chef Oscar Yanez (Green Grocer, The Commoner, Mamasita, Hardware Societe and The European) to head up the kitchen. The result? A simple menu delivered beautifully with a focus on Italian dishes and high quality local produce.
The breakfast menu sees house-made honey toasted granola served with strawberry, rhubarb, and vanilla bean yoghurt ($12), while the crushed avocado is served with ricotta salata and fine herbs on sourdough ($14), for a more Italian take on one of Melbourne's favourite dishes. If you're looking for something a little heartier, go for the baked eggs with sugo, wilted spinach, labne, dukkah, and toast ($18). Trying to make the tram on time? Reach for a takeaway chia pudding topped with pomegranate seeds ($5).
For lunch, the Fancy Pants Toastie special ($13) of ham, cheese and fried egg, with the crusts cut perfectly off, is as cute as it is delicious, while the green coleslaw of spinach, cabbage asparagus, and pesto ($10) is a little more virtuous, and works well as a side too.
Now that the edibles are taken care of, let's chat drinkables. They are pouring Strada Coffee alongside your breakfast. And we have to say, they're doing it very well. They're also serving house-made hot chocolate, which is being concocted with 70% cacao European chocolate and cream. Enough said. Something to go with that warm beverage? The baked treats are there for you too. There's everything from melting moments to lemon, polenta and pear muffins.
If you're more of a buy now, eat later kind of person, Mio Locale also do picnic and take-home packs so you can eat their nosh wherever your heart desires. We vote Edinburgh Gardens. Just saying.
Images thanks to Piccolo Angelo Photography.