With a commendable approach to food, coffee and service, Prospect Espresso shows no signs of abating enthusiasm.
With Melbourne's eastern suburbs still amidst a cafe boom that doesn't appear to have an end in sight, it's becoming harder and harder to find a place you love, let alone one with genuine character that flits past the ordinary and strives for the absolute best. Luckily for leafy Camberwell, Prospect Espresso embraces the gold standard in an area traditionally starved of great dining options.
Carefully considered textural details, such as the recycled timber communal bar, amplify the atmosphere, and the tight space has been cleverly utilised with no difficulty at all. Accented with attentive touches such as the crisp, tiled baristas station and peppermint chinaware, it could almost be your own home. Room isn't a compromise for comfort, making Prospect Espresso perfect for smaller groups to settle in amongst the jovial warmth.
Comfort continues over to the menu, which combines classics with memorable and inventive dishes that are assured to become favourites, such as the warm coconut rice served with kiwifruit, lime air and puffed rice ($14). Dishes are presented with finesse and artful allure; the farro and beetroot salad with butternut pumpkin, goats cheese and Earl Grey dressing ($15) is almost too interesting to devour. Rest assured though, the flavours lying within are as compelling as the presentation itself.
Coffee is from Rosso, alongside a variety of other single origin selections, and is smooth and consistent ($3.50-8). You can taste when passion for the job stretches further than just serving the masses, and Prospect Espresso achieves this without fault. Tables run rapidly — perhaps due to the outstanding coffee on offer — but service remains perfectly controlled and flawless. Exceptionally friendly and attentive staff cap off the experience.
With such a commendable approach to food, coffee and service that has tapped perfectly into its surrounds, Prospect Espresso shows no signs of abating enthusiasm. A welcoming space for regulars and new visitors alike, it is worth multiple visits.