Monday, 16 April 2012

Finally decent-ish coffee within walking-ish distance - West 48

Ok ... so my friends descended in a maelstrom of local innuendo and uninhibited giggles ... they arrived on a particularly beautiful Autumnal morning which managed to render the cracks in our house a sort of aesthetic charm ... which my friend R took full photographic advantage off ... hhmmm!

That day was also auspicious for another reason. It was the first day of trading for Footscray's (and its environs) newest culinary offering - W 48 (or should that read West 48? - jury is still out).

We have been waiting I can't tell you how long for this place to open. I used to slow down while driving past to peep in on its progress. And now finally somewhere within reasonable walking distance that serves reasonable coffee!

No surprises with the fit out here, although it has some anecdotal quirks including a refurbished work bench from Essendon Airport which forms the main communal table in this deceptively large space. Bare lightbulbs/dark walls and distressed/re-used wood shenanigans abound, but it needs something to pull it altogether ... as it feels a bit too colour by numbers for my liking. But that is not to say it isn't a welcoming place. Its not that cramped and the acoustics are actually quite reasonable.

The menu is fairly basic, in that there's nothing that really jumps out and grabs. And I have to confess that I am not a fan of Allpress coffee ... so although my flattie was decent, it wasn't quite the Wow I wanted.

For our afternoon repast, M had the heirloom tomatoes and fetta.

Does pre-fixing a vegetable with the word heirloom activate some kind of taste pheromone or neurological flavour enhancement gene, but they always seem so much more delicious. Quick! Someone do a blind taste test soon because I think its all in the brain! Anyhoo, it was yummy and my Avocado and Hummus was just exactly what I wanted. A good proprietor knows how to pick his suppliers and consequently his produce - the avo was amazing, and even if the hummus had been generic it wouldn't have mattered. This is a simple and well put together dish.

R had the Cuca sardine sandwhich (cans of which are available to purchase here) which almost seems like a promotional tie-in. I can't really tell my Cuca from my Johns West fits best (and yes that was deliberate!!) but a quick google tells me ... not much more really. R did say it tasted yummy, but maybe he was just being polite. From where I was sitting, it looked like it could have used just a bit more filling.

S was less enamoured of his Roasted Eggplant number ... but I don't think he was all that hungry to begin with ... or maybe it was just nervous excitement at being in Melbourne at the very start of a holiday. (just quietly, it looked the least appealing).

So what are our final thoughts - and already there are polarising opinions out there on the interwebs!! - I needed a place like this to open nearby and its here. I hope it stays the distance and expands its menu. In its current format, I would recommend it as a place for a quick stop and snack. But I really want it to be so much more.

West 48 on Urbanspoon


  1. Bryan makes bad faces about Allpress too! I like it though - Beatrix use it and do good coffee.

    We actually did a blind taste test with organic purple carrots (ie heirloom) and organic orange carrots. Everyone (6 kids) said the heirloom purple were tastier in the blind trial, although they all said initially they would not eat then as they were "weird". So there you go.

  2. There must be something in the blogging zeitgeist because I was able to pick out from a plate of non-descript roasted vegetables the purple carrot!! Amazing!


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