Elegant Bellair Street is a leafy residential road in Kensington and not really a place where you’d expect to find a hip cafe. But The Premises dominates its corner locale (right near Kensington train station) with a standout menu, Seven Seeds coffee and a recycled chic aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place in the inner north.
The space is all nooks and crannies with lots of levels. There’s a long bar, a line of old school desks at the front windows, bench seating, communal tables, and a busy coffee station. There’s even a food store/takeaway area dubbed ‘The Premises Jnr’ with sandwiches, soup, salads, pastries and housemade jams and preserves. Vintage highlights abound, including some covetable green lamps.
I go out for breakfast a lot and I get bored seeing the same old thing on menus. So it was great to see a menu of unique dishes which wasn’t dominated by eggs done a million ways.
The Premises‘ menu changes with each season which means you should get there soon before they switch to a winter menu – which I’m sure will be awesome but then you may never be able to try the pan fried sardine fillets ($18).
I’m not one to shy away from strong flavours in the morning and a plate of oily fish with chorizo and an olive-studded panzanella salad is exactly the kind of dish I gravitate to. I didn’t feel like my taste buds had been assaulted though, thanks to the mellowing effect of the soft poached egg. A beautifully presented, balanced and filling dish and a great way to dose up on omega 3.
I also tried the burnt pineapple French toast with butterscotch mascarpone and salted toffee popcorn ($16.50). This was unabashedly dessert for breakfast, with a healthy dollop of marscapone flecked with popcorn, giving a welcome crunch to the standard French toast with fruit/maple syrup offering.
The Premises has clearly found a loyal local following. There were people waiting for the doors to open on Saturday morning and when I left just before the weekend brunch rush hour the place was packed. It seems to be the go-to place in the sleepy village of Kensington and clearly deserves its 3 star award in The Age’s Good Food Under $30 2014.