235 High Street
Northcote Vic 3070
It’s not hard to miss Tinker when driving down High Street in Northcote, just look for the big group of people huddled around the door eagerly awaiting a table. Now I must admit, the very sight of all these people made me shudder. I loathe waiting for anything, let alone a table at a cafe in a town full of quality options. So as I approached my brunch dates (the lovely Olive Sundays and Happiness Is Food) and was told we’d be looking at an hour wait, a little something inside of me died. So in anticipation of a good feed we endured a 90 minute wait!
Finally our names were called and we were seated at one of the turquoise side-walk tables. Within a matter of minutes coffee was delivered to our table and food orders had been placed. Having waited for so long we downed of coffees in an instant and I must say they were pretty good. And sip by sip Tinker started to redeem itself after making us wait forever.
When our meals arrived we were greeted by dish after dish of beautifully plated food. They were all colourful, fresh and meticulously assembled. It quickly became clear as to why people were willing to wait over an hour for a table. But was there any substance to these pretty dishes? Were they all talk and no show? Hell yeah there was! The Jaffa Hotcakes with their orange curd, dark chocolate meringue, strawberries and vanilla mascarpone was absolutely delicious. The distinct citrus flavours were present without being overpowering and worked really well with the crunchy meringue. I don’t think I uttered a single word as I inhaled them.
The Benedict was a bit different to what you usually get. Built on base of two large crispy jalapeno and sweet potato rostis, it had a bit of kick to it, that wasn’t really to my liking, but the chilli lovers will enjoy this take on a breakfast staple. The smashed peas were light, fresh and flavoursome with the hero being that smear of beetroot lining the plate. Then there was the Mango and Saffron pannacotta which was really light and subtle. I don’t know that it’d be a great meal on its own, but it makes for a lovely shared plate or palate cleanser to end a big brunch.
So if you can see past all the hype and queues, what you’re left with is a solid cafe that’s sure to tick all the boxes.
We dined as guests of Tinker, however all opinions expressed are strictly my own.