Lobbs Café — Melbourne, Australia
If there’s one thing Melbourne does better than most cities, it’s cafés. More than mere pitstops in which to grab coffee or light refreshments, cafés in Melbourne can command the same amount of respect as restaurants, often with just as much thought and effort committed to their design and interiors. Case in point, Lobbs Café, a new opening in the city’s Brunswick neighbourhood from café mastermind brothers Kael and Matt Sahely. Together with local architecture firm Technē, the duo has created a fresh and easy space where idling isn’t just facilitated, it’s encouraged.
This is largely down to a layout defined by open, light-filled spaces, where dual level seating includes expansive upholstered pastel pink booths and banquettes, and wood benches with inbuilt cushioned seats. Add exposed white brick walls, high industrial ceilings, timber flooring and bold applications of forest green into the mix, and you have a space that manages to pull of the feat of being both laidback (in attitude) and completely serious (in its menu and interior offerings).
The food is equally as vibrant. The prerequisite avocado on toast is here, upgraded with the addition of sunflower tahini, fermented chili and turmeric egg, while the Super Salad, a colourful medley of kale, heirloom tomatoes, charred corn, goji berries, wild rice and more is Oz on a plate. At the heart of the space a service counter clad in corrugated polycarbonate sheeting offers a front row view of baristas going to work on the only thing Melburnians do better than cafes: coffee, here supplied by local roastery Vacation. §