The Crux & Co is the creme de la crop
The Crux & Co in South Melbourne boasts an eclectic pool of talent that ensures it’s a standout cafe on Melbourne’s culinary landscape. The newest concept by Kevin Li (Lights in the Attic, 3Lives) brings together quality food, coffee and service in a relaxed setting.
The edifice was spawned by renowned architects EAT and provides moods of the sixties featuring curve expressions, bronze trimmed tables and cork roofing. Accents of dark blue pop against the white walls and sandy wooden tables. The 110 seat venue exudes an understated trendy vibe which appeals to all demographics. With James Julian (Addict Food & Coffee, Two Birds One Stone, Chingon) greeting you at front of house, it feels like you’ve been going there for years.
Creating your delicious 5 Senses coffees are head barristas Yutaro Mitsuyoshi (Addict Food & Coffee, Two Birds One Stone) and Ratchanon Theppabutra (Manchester Press). They also serve up rotating filter coffee, Mork hot chocolate and Ovvio organic tea. If these warm your heart, glance towards the front window which parades these products for you to take home and create your own brew.
Head pastry chef Louise MK Lee (formerly of Brunetti) prepares a plethora of beautiful cheeky and delicious pastries to enhance the beverage imbibing experience. Think green tea croissants, macaroons, pies and a range of colourful cakes and tarts. If your gastronomical excess is a sugar high, this place is your panacea. It’s also home to the crogel. What’s a crogel you ask? It’s a cross between bagel and a croissant. They come in different flavours including plain, savoury and blueberry. We tried them for ourselves and have decided, apart from the bagel shape, they are basically just croissants, but tasty all the same.
Breakfast and lunch are served all day at The Crux & Co and executive chef Oggie Choi (previously at Lights in the Attic) has created a menu impressively saluting Korean fare. The smoked salmon tossed through scrambled eggs with broad beans, bonito and a tobiko and siracha mayonnaise served on squid ink toast ($18.50) is a tantalising mix of flavours and textures. Don’t get distracted by the bonito like I did – when they hit the hot scrambled eggs they look like they are still swimming on your plate.
Another hit involving squid ink toast (baked in house) is the lobster bisque benedict with tiger prawns, poached eggs and a lobster bisque hollandaise served on squid ink toast ($2050). It is as delicious as it sounds.
Sweeter breakfast options include French toast with mixed berries, nuts, natural honeycomb, marscapone and vanilla fairy floss. Make sure you have your camera at the ready for an Instagram snap of this one.
For lunch, you’ll lust after the Fontina fondue with roasted vegetables, toasted bread roll and sliced rib eye steak ($21) or the teriyaki tofu and grilled chicken tenders with witlof, tomato, cucumber, red onion and a sesame dressing ($16.50).
The pork belly burger served with pickled slaw, rocket, fried cheese and house-made aioli is filling even without the side of hand cut wedges ($19.50). For something a little lighter try the green papaya salad with fried soft-shell crab, freeze dried apple with mixed herbs and nuts ($17). For the vegetarians the Scotch quail egg, arancini and falafel served on a potato rosti nest ($20.50) is a winner.
Having spent many breakfasts and lunches here already it’s safe to say The Crux & Co has a way of captivating us for hours. Its agora atmosphere will draw you in for a relaxing coffee or to visit with a group of friends for brunch. Either way, the crux of the matter is that you need to check out this café – you can always run off those pastries around The Tan later.
The Crux & Co
35 Albert Rd, South Melbourne
Open Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 4pm
(03) 9820 1081