This post is not sponsored. Not enough money in the world could cover me to eat here the number of times I actually do. I would eat them out of house, home and kitchen garden.
It’s no secret that I love the hell out of CERES. For kids and adults alike it’s the absolute bomb. And I mean that in a non-explosive, quietly contented way.
CERES occupies a 10 acre block in Brunswick East between Merri Creek and Nicholson Street. The cafe operates under organic and environmental principles and uses local (or its own) produce, 80% of which is organic. It is a sprawling arc of tables and chairs, from the sheltered balcony around the kitchen, to the 10 or so tables under a massive marquee, and the mosaiced tables out in the elements.
I usually go the Dukkah Eggs, being a self-confessed Dukkaholic. CERES always does the eggs the way I like them – hard whites and runny yolks. The Dukkah Eggs come poached on toasted homemade pumpkin bread spread with white-bean hummus, on a bed of spinach and generously sprinkled with dukkah. There is a side of tomato salsa which provides the well-needed acid for the dish. It is divine.
Other unique offerings for breakfast or brunch are the Indonesian Eggs – fried eggs on rice, with greens, a spicy sambal, coriander, mint, and peanuts – and Toasted Wattleseed Muesli with poached rhubarb or whatever fruit is in season.
Lunches include ever-revolving baguettes of the day, always freaking delicious with remarkably tasty combos, homemade sausage rolls which actually taste like beef (and not innards mixed with sawdust), spinach and cheese rolls and my favourite, the pumpkin, tofu and miso roll.
There is no kids menu per se, but it’s fairly accessible for children – they will LOVE the sausage rolls and there is always the simple option of toast with preserves to keep them pumped.
The coffee is brilliant. Service can be hit and miss. The staff are well-intentioned but can be a bit, ahem, vague and on weekends it can be slow (CERES gets very packed very quickly on weekends) and as it’s counter service, the queue can get long.
The best part about CERES is that, on a nice day, whilst you’re hoeing into your food and coffee (or organic wine/beer depending on what kind of day you’re having) curled up in the sunshine with today’s paper, the kids can roam free-range in either the sandpit next to the outdoor tables, in and around the yurt (or something that looks like a yurt) or climb up the tree-house. Yep. A tree house. The slope to the treehouse is rather steep, so kids probably need to be about 4 before they can navigate it without you. The sandpit, on the other hand, is close to the tables.
I could happily spend the best part of a day here. A short walk from the cafe there are chooks and a fabulous plant nursery, and on Wednesday morning, there is an organic fruit and vegetable market. It’s not a posh cafe and they’ve only recently forked out for flushable loos but this is a family-geared, sometimes dusty, but ultimately beautiful oasis in the middle of the inner suburbs. Check it. Come on, they have a yurt.
- What was the bill? Lunch/brunch for 4 + coffee for 2 – $60.
- Where is it? CERES Environment Park and Cafe. Corner of Roberts and Stewart St, Brunswick East
- How kid-friendly is it? 9.5/10. No kids menu, but there are highchairs, a unique playground and space aplenty to run around in (go hard, kids, go hard!). Very young kids need to be supervised up on the hill. Unless you’re Inky of course, and prefer to crack a Bear Grylls and fend for yourself. Credit cards accepted which is a relief as it can be quite a walk from the car park to the cafe.