Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Good Form in Essendon - lunch at Form Cafe

Ok ... its about time the North West had a decent cafe. And its a cute one called Form! Nestled in a short little strip on Albion Street, this charming converted shophouse serves up caffeine goodness in the form of roasted beans courtesy of NSW import Campos. So thats one big tick, with a confident baristic hand backing up from the rear.

The fit out, again, and it sounds so boring saying this, is all modernistic white with blond wood touches and a curiously shorthanded tree branch light fixture, which always makes me think of Edina in her newly refurbished bedroom taking a shower with birch twigs.

But go up the steps to the where the large communal table sits and there is still enough remnants of the old domicile to lend a certain unique charm to this already inviting cafe. But let me just say this, fuck the arsehole who scratched that insolent and imbecilic tag all over the front glass window.

The menu descriptions are intriguing but as with all trending cafes, strip away the hyperbole, and you have rather prosaic dishes in form and potentially in taste. But (and its a big But) here at Form, they have the culinary skills to back it up.

Take the dish I had for example - described as Cheese and Onion Sqaure, and looking very much like a toastie when it arrived a table! Oh but that Leek and Onion braised in White Wine filling was a masterstroke! It tasted wonderful. I wanted another one half way through munching on the one I already had. And those garlic chips were the perfect highlight for this not so ordinary grilled cheese on toast dish.

M had a special which was the braised goat and brioche - pretty much a pot pie. And again, perfectly balanced flavours, chunks full of tender goat in a not too rich sauce. Although I think M was in the mood for something spicy and this was more River Cottage than Luke Nguyen.

The servings were of the right size to allow us a shared sweet with our second cup of coffee. We chose the Rugelach, a cake filled with apricots, cream cheese and walnut of Jewish origin, something I've always wanted to try. It was beautiful. A lovely consistency in the bite, and again not overly rich or sweet, accented by just the right amount of cinnamon.

This is how you do a neighbourhood cafe.

PS ... those aren't cheapo disposable plates in the photos by the way ... we didn't do takeaway. Its part of this cafe's shtick that they use compostable dinnerware.

Form Cafe on Urbanspoon


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