Cote Terra Cafe, Oakleigh

Cafes, Eat, Melbourne / 2 May 2018

Cote Terra is Oakleigh’s best kept secret.

Famed for traditional grocers, souvlaki joints, and sprawling al-fresco cafes spruiking syrupy-sweet treats, Oakleigh is a culinary haven. A thriving Greek community lies at the heart of Oakleigh, and many of its foodie establishments reflect this. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has left the area hungry with so many options on offer. With many cafes ringing true to Greek tradition, Cote Terra boldly stands out. Tucked away right near Oakleigh station, this cafe is a hidden gem taking Oakleigh’s food scene to new heights, with not a souvlaki in sight. Instead, a refreshingly modern and diverse breakfast and lunch menu, paired with great local and internationally sourced coffee, is on offer.
Cote Terra certainly strays from the norm in its culinary offering. It fits right in however, with the brunch and long lunch crowd Oakleigh is renowned for. Here, a honey-drenched baklava and pungent Greek coffee is swapped with crispy soft shell crab with eggs and specialty coffee to boot.
The interior itself is yet another reason to stay. Its fit-out is warm and eclectic. Sit down, and take it all in. If you prefer to dine al-fresco, outdoor seating and a courtyard brimming with cacti makes people watching that much easier. With a world map detailing the café’s coffee bean sources adorning the back wall, and an exposed pendant light chandelier that hangs over centre tables, it is only natural that the menu offerings are just as left of centre and inviting as the café itself.
It’s hard to go wrong with a menu that offers both breakfast and lunch at 9am. Although I am a staunch breakfast traditionalist, the lunch menu almost had me converted. From hearty pork belly banh-mi to lobster sliders, I considered just how staunch my allegiance was. But alas, ever the sweet tooth, my heart was stolen by the Terra Waffles.
Cote Terra
Hot off the press, Belgian waffles arrived liberally covered in icing sugar – a damn good indication that the meal you’re about to eat will be a delicious one. A generous scoop of raspberry sorbet sat upon a mound of fine chocolate soil. A combination of fresh fruit and freeze dried fruit dotted the plate. If my eyes could eat, they would have been feasting. Unsurprisingly, the waffles were as good as they looked – and washed down with a pretty purple berry smoothie, a feast that left my belly left very happy.
If you’re of the opinion that sweet selections are reserved strictly for dessert and children’s birthday parties, there are plenty of options on the menu that are both savoury and satisfying. Just one look at my partner’s face after biting down on the Smokey Eggs Benedict and I knew I had to try. Boy, does this Benedict certainly not skimp on the smoke! Arriving under a glass cloche, when released the fragrant scent of pulled ham hock and hollandaise foam had us scrambling for the cutlery. Did I mention all this sat atop a pillowy potato and cheese croquette? This spin on the traditional eggs and hollandaise sauce? Devoured in approximately 0.5 seconds. The specialty coffee followed suit.
With a fantastically innovative menu and a heavy focus on great coffee, this hidden gem in Oakleigh is a brunch spot not to be missed.
Cote Terra
17 Station St, Oakleighc v
7am-4pm Monday-Friday.
8am-4pm Saturdays and 8:30-4pm Sundays.