245 Franklin Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
I have a serious love affair with the CBD, but I tend to avoid it like the plague during the working week. Why you ask? It’s simple, parking! I either have to fork out a weeks wage for a couple of hours parking in one of the many parking complexes, or I have to drive around for ages to find a spot on the street that I can only occupy for an hour and pay $10 for the honour. Why don’t you just catch train they all ask? Been there, done that, in no rush to do it again.
Anywho, on a recent trip into the city I decided to take a different approach. I drove in and parked at the iconic Queen Vic Market, where I scored ALL DAY parking for $10 – winning! Then the plan was to make the most of the free trams to get around, that was until I stumbled across Frances Food and Coffee.
Situated directly opposite the markets carpark entrance, this little gem is tucked away from the standard hustle and bustle of the city. Offering super friendly service and a really hearty menu, it amazes me that I hadn’t heard about Frances until now. It’s not the biggest eatery, but it has ample indoor and outdoor seating (although it’s not really suited to those travelling with a stroller), which can be rare this close to the city.
We visited on a relatively cold day, but there was a single ray of sunshine outside, so I decided to sit outside with the little guy (plus there wasn’t really anywhere I could sit with him inside) and make the most of what little sun Melbourne has to offer this time of year. I scanned the menu, while the little guy was kept entertained by the passing street sweepers (although one almost collected the stroller from the footpath) and decided to go for some serious comfort food. This weather called for the dukkha poached eggs with thick cut haloumi and house beans on multigrain toast.
Comfort food is what I was after and comfort food is definitely what I got. With all of the ingredients sourced locally from the Queen Vic Market and central elements like the dukkah being made in house, this dish was packed full of high quality ingredients and really wholesome flavours. With farm fresh eggs and home style beans cooked with celery, onion and a hint of parsley, every spoonful was warming my soul.
The last, and most important element on the plate was the haloumi. This wasn’t the cheap, rubbery version of the popular cheese, this version was really soft and tender, making for great eating and finishing off the dish perfectly.
So what’s the verdict? Two thumbs up! One for their great service and a second for the delicious food.