HOT: Mixed Business, Clifton Hill
Mixed Business is a popular cafe in Clifton Hill that is worth a special visit for breakfast.
It’s at the very end of a strip of shops on Queens Parade, so it’s not in a place with constant foot traffic (or parking). Yet on a weekday morning it is consistently busy.
It is particularly popular with people with kids, as the airy spaciousness and quaint rough-and-tumble wooden furnishings make it an ideal place for young tots to roam around and with plenty of space to park prams.
There’s also a sunny garden area where kids can toddle about and you can sit in amongst delightfully unkempt flowering herbs punctuated by the gentle rumble of the Epping line.
I sidle into the restored church pew padded with summer-stripe cushions positioned against the communal table. A pixie-haired waitress immediately greets me with a menu and a glass of water. I think I am halfway in love with the cafe right there thanks to her huge friendly grin.
The breakfast menu contains items that are a little out of the ordinary. The gingerbread waffles with vanilla bean ice cream, roasted apples and candied walnuts ($14) are listed amongst poached eggs with sourdough accompanied by half a dozen different sides – from ham hock white beans, pancetta, tomato and parmesan to potato and rosemary rosti with avocado (all $13.50).
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While normally I’m not much of an egg person I was very much torn between a sweet or savoury breakfast, but in the end I compromise on sweet so I can take away one of their hot rolls.
Two freshly baked waffles arrive heaped with topping. I have a fear of doughiness in pancakes and waffles but these two wholemeal rectangles are perfect – crispy on the outside, springy on the inside. The toppings provided contrasting textural interest, with cold, hot, crunchy and smooth all sounding out together.
For lunch that same day I have a toasted ciabatta roll tucked with salty corned beef, tomato relish, tangy Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese and rocket ($9). A classic 50s combination which is still satisfying after a couple of hours.
Given its popularity on a weekday I imagine weekends at Mixed Business can get very busy, but nevertheless I urge you to try it out for breakfast or lunch – you won’t be disappointed.
standard menu suitable for kids;
free street parking.
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