Despite growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne, I have actually never been to Abbotsford before. Maybe I have driven by, but never have I ever walked down its streets or eaten at any of the cafes in that area.
About two weeks ago, I went with a friend to the famous Abbotsford Convent. We were planning on eating at this Japanese restaurant inside the convent but it happened to be closed that day. So we took a wander and came across the “The Farm Cafe” completely by chance. It was about a 5 min walk from the Convent, and is right in the precinct of the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
Located on 18 St Heliers Street, The Farm Cafe feels exactly like how a farm cafe should feel. It’s rustic and it’s earthy with its wooden trestle tables, friendly staff, and peaceful surroundings. The cafe overlooks a large green paddock where horses are lazily chewing on the hay and there’s a farm house in the distance.
The Farm Cafe is the place to go to for country style breakfasts, brunches and lunches. I wouldn’t say the food is super spectacular but the “feel” of the cafe is what makes it unique and is its selling point. The cafe makes you feel like you have woken up on a hazy summers day in a small country town far away from the city and the busy highways. In actual fact, the city is only 2km away!!
I ordered the Millet with Kale, roasted walnuts severed with pickles, beetroot and egg. My friend had the Toasted Granola with milk. The waiting time for the food took quite a while. Maybe because the cafe was so busy. Also, a lot of dishes on the menu were not available that day. I was very surprised when a very flustered looking waitress told us things like the scones and jam, the mushroom pie, the sausage rolls and baguettes were all sold out and it was only 12:30 pm (the peak of the lunch hour!)
My dish (the millet with kale etc..) was very generous in size and I couldn’t finish it even though I have a big appetite. The zing from the beetroot and the pickles is what tied the dish together. Without it, the dish would have been too heavy and dry. I liked having that sour element to it.
As for the Granola, my friend, who also has a good appetite like myself, could not finish her share of the dish either. The serving of the Granola didn’t look as big as the serving of the Millet, but I guess, you can only so much sweet muesli before you feel full and maybe a bit sick too #foodcoma
My friend also ordered a side dish of potatoes but it was let down when they came out soggy, resting in a bed of oil, and burnt like charcoal. I didn’t each touch it.
As for drinks, I ordered the “frozen apple juice” which is just a spin on normal apple juice but frozen so it came out kinda like a slushy. It was rather refreshing for a hot summer’s afternoon. My friend had a Iced Coffee. I like the blue and white paper straws they served the drinks with. It was pretty cute.
A smart and (I think) highly innovative idea The Farm Cafe does is that it allows its patrons to order fruit juices in mason jars which they can then take with them around the farm. Afterwards, patrons can return the jar back to the cafe and be off on their way home.
After a rather filling lunch, we took a walk around the farm, taking in the peaceful views. We ended up walking alongside the Yarra River.
- The Farm Cafe is located inside the Collingwood Children’s Farm, just 2km from the busy CBD.
- The food isn’t super spectacular, but the country feel and rustic vibes is the cafe’s selling point
- Patrons can order drinks in reusable mason jars and walk around the farm with it, returning it back to the cafe when they are done.
- The cafe (when I went) was very busy, packed with people, so waiting time for the food was lengthy and many items on the menu were sold out
- I was generally happy with the food, the taste and the serving sizes though the roast potatoes were a let down as they were oily, soggy and burnt.
- Friendly and smiley staff , despite the fact the cafe was very busy and everyone was running around like a headless chook taking orders and serving food.
- Rating: 7/10