My trip to Melbourne was a blur of trains, walking, and sightseeing – but what I can definitely remember as being my highlight was the food and drink. They say Melbourne is a melting pot of people, and this means that Melbourne is also a melting pot of cuisines all just waiting for you to taste. That being said, the people of Melbourne don’t shy away from making a homage to classic western/Australian food – oh no. With its huge café culture, you can find a fabulous western brunch or lunch anywhere – pancakes, waffles, egg benedict – you name it and they’ll have it. I say you can go anywhere, but the one place I had my eye on months before I jumped the ditch was a little hidden gem that is now city-famous in the heart of Hughesdale – Temperance Society.
So imagine this – you’ve woken up at 4am, gone to the airport, taken a 4 hour flight, waited an hour for the bus, rode on the bus for 40 minutes to your Airbnb – and realize t’s been 8 hours since that half a scone in the departure lounge. You’d be hungry right? Correct. So, where better than to satiate our hunger than at one of the best brunch spots in town, Temperance Society. It’s located out in Hughesdale, which is about a 20 minute train ride from the city central, but believe me, once we got there, sipped on the much-needed coffee and took the first bite out of our lunch, any travel time and distance was worth it.
After our uber has woven its way through the maze of houses in Hughesdale, it finally found it way outside the modern-looking daytime establishment. Once inside, we were warmly greeted by the staff who lead us to a sunlit table in their small open courtyard, drinks were offered and we answered with an ice cold coffee and milkshake – the weather was pristine and hotter than any day Wellington had seen! Me being me, I was months deep into stalking this place and their beautiful brunches, so I already knew what I was going to order – one of their famous and very insta-worthy brunch panna cottas. My partner ordered their veggie burgers with polenta chips, and then all we had to do was wait with rumbling tummies for the food to come.
Soon our prayers were answered, and before me sat a tower of panna cotta perfection – a crumb of nutty granola with pops of freeze-dried fruits and flowers surrounded a mound of perfectly-wobbly chocolate panna cotta, topped with a tempered white chocolate sphere filled with fresh fruits and caramelized banana. It’s a lot to describe but believe me when you get a mouthful of all these elements together, you’re sent to sweet-brunch heaven. It was exactly what I needed to get my blood sugars pumping, but not too much sweet that it turned sickly. The nutty granola and tart fruit combatted the creamy richness of the panna cotta to create a balanced dish that even chocolate-haters would go in for a second spoonful of. The burger was also deliciously fresh and filled with a thick patty made from the best hearty veg – and was definitely what my partner needed to fill that hungry tummy of his! But that being said, those polenta chips were the star of the show – super crispy and brown on the outside, and soft and almost creamy on the inside – they were a taste and texture masterpiece!
This place was everything it promised to be and more. Months of stalking on Instagram had me in anticipation of what Temperance Society was going to bring to the plate, but I am more than happy to say that they went above and beyond my expectations. Whether it’s a first date, girls’ brunch, business meeting, or even a tradie lunch – its’s a place where everybody is welcome to come and enjoy fabulous food and copious amounts of coffee. This deserves a well-appointed 9/10 on the Café Crawler Scale – everything was near perfect; except I wish it was closer to the city so more people can come and enjoy what will always promise to be an outstanding brunch experience.
Check out their moreish menu here!