19-21 Leveson Street
North Melbourne Vic 3051
As you approach Di Bella you can smell that sweet sweet coffee and once it hits you in the face and you’re sucked in. I’d say most people in Melbourne have heard of and enjoyed a Di Bella coffee at one point in time as it’s brewed at cafes all over town, but what you may not know is that their North Melbourne roasting house also serves as a great eatery.
The roastery is at the centre of the operation, so the smell literally floods the place and depending where you sit, you can catch a glimpse of the roasters in action. As usual, we parked ourselves in the back corner to minimise the number of people that may have been annoyed by a sometimes feral child (although on this occasion he was on his best behaviour, but the poor couple with a toddle sitting next to us definitely couldn’t say the same thing), where we were surrounded by all manner of coffee parafanlia (including some really pricey coffee machines).
The menu covers all of the base requirements that we’ve come to expect- eggs, avocado, burger ect, and is pretty well balanced between sweet and savoury offerings. I make no secret of the fact that I have a serious sweet tooth, so I was really tempted by the apple pie (with cinnamon, rhubarb and custard foam) and the coconut pikelets (with burnt orange, apple, candied pecans and ricotta cream), but for what ever reason I was in the mood for something more savoury (shock horror!).
The menu also offers a stack of really inventive dishes like the coffee cured salmon (with kohrabi remoulade, celery heart, son in law egg and brioche) which I just couldn’t go past. In a city obsessed with coffee, this is really taking it to another level, so I had to try it.
It was presented beautifully and cooked to perfection. The salmon was still quite rare, just as it should be and tasted great. The coffee and salmon together was a bit of an odd paring, but strangely enough it worked. I have to admit, once I got half way through it, I found the coffee flavour to be bit overwhelming, but the remoulade helped to balance it out.
The husband on the other hand decided to go with the Wagyu Cheeseburger (house smoked streaky bacon, pickles, salad, Russian dressing and crinkle cut chips). I managed to get a bite in before he demolished it and I was really surprised by the Hungry Jacks like taste. It seriously tasted like that, but it didn’t cheapen it in anyway. I’d say it was a much better quality version of a fast food favourite. Definitely not what I was expecting, but still good.
All in all, I didn’t mind the Roasting House and I’ll definitely be back to give that apple pie a crack.