Rudimentary is the most exciting addition to Footscray’s burgeoning cafe scene – because it’s going to the closest cafe to my house! And it’s kid-friendly! And bike-friendly! And the food is great!
I am four !!!! excited.
The new cafe is set on an expansive corner block bordering Leeds Street and my regular bike route on Donald Street. Despite its proximity to bustling Little Saigon market it’s a quiet, lovely space, a garden oasis in the middle of concrete downtown Footscray.
The owner Des, an architect by training, has taken a decrepit carpark, dandied up four shipping containers, laid out turf and set out raised garden beds that will provide the kitchen with fresh fruit, veges and herbs.
There are multiple bike racks and a coffee window that acts as a bike-through (or pram-through).
The interior decor is just as pleasing, with a neutral palette of white, beige, cream, and wood and delicate filament lights suspended from the ceiling.
My pick of the seating is the big communal table surrounded by comfortable padded vintage swivel chairs. Or maybe on a sunny day one of the window benches, watching the passing parade of ever-changing Footscray.
High chairs are available and there’s lots of space for prams, inside and out. Kids will love exploring the garden beds and Astroturfed areas and the majority of the garden is fenced – just ask one of the staff if you need one of them closed if you have a bolting toddler. Maybe just needs a small basket of toys and books to make it a complete family-friendly experience – I’ll suggest it on my next visit :–).
The menu provides all-day breakfast options and lunch dishes from 11am. I choose one of Des’ favourite dishes, braised pork belly with crispy pig’s ear, chilli and tamarind and fried eggs ($17). The dish is substantial and would be a fantastic hangover cure, with meat falling off the bone, crunchy crackling and twisted ear-y bits topped with a punchy sauce.
I then try one of the sweet breakfast options, a red rice pudding with whipped coconut, mango and ginger crumble ($14.5). This is a sensational dish of melting rice grains with just a touch of bite. The creaminess well punctuated by the fine crumble and the mango lends the dish just the right amount of sweetness.
If you don’t want to eat a whole sweet dish then the coffee counter offers housemade goodies supplemented with sweets from Cobb Lane in Yarraville. There is no kids menu but the standard menu offers lots of kid-friendly choices I think.
Not being a coffee drinker I ordered a chai instead ($4), a delightfully creamy concoction with gentle spice notes on the nose. After testing many chair blends the barista decided to make her own and Rudimentary‘s cup is certainly one of the better examples of an often watery and bland drink.
Des is hoping to make Rudimentary a community hub and I hope that it succeeds. Certainly I’m excited that it’s going to be my new local.
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- standard menu suitable for kids (Baby 2.0 loves the granola); and
- outdoor play area.