My friend M is moving into Fitzroy next week and for our Sunday catchup he wanted to try a place around his new hood. Min Lokal is Swedish for ‘my local’ and I thought it’d be the perfect venue for this northside newbie.
Evidently lots of other locals treat Min Lokal as their neighbourhood cafe too, as trendy student-types, young parents and groovy couples spilled out onto the pavement stools, crowded around the two communal tables in the front room and enjoyed the quiet of the rear courtyard. We were there at midday and there was a dizzying stream of customers moving in, out and around – so if you want to read your Sunday papers in peace I suggest hiding out the back.
The menu is strongly breakfast focused – waffles, muesli, eggs, toast. They’re famous for their baked eggs but we didn’t fancy an oven-baked lunch on the hot day, so settled on a chicken sandwich with celery and walnut remoulade and pancetta ($12) and a haloumi salad with witloaf, chorizo, chickpeas and harissa ($16).
After quite a long wait (one of the downfalls of uber-popularity) our meals arrived. As far as sandwiches go it was….pleasant. Not exciting, not terrible and frankly a bit expensive for what it was. The colourful salad looked more promising and the flavoursome ingredients lifted it beyond the norm.
While waiting for our meals I’d been eyeing the countertop of delicious looking muffins. When only one remained, I swooped and claimed it, an apricot muffin topped with almond flakes. Unfortunately, it was reminiscent of Muffin Break – a solid block of baked stodge with minimal fruit. Nothing on the muffins at Proud Mary.
All in all, a disappointing experience at Min Lokal. I liked the general feel of it – a cute terrace house in a residential area converted into a local haunt. But on Sunday it was so busy it made my head spin and maybe all the rave reviews (Addictive & Consuming, Where’s the Beef, Fitzroyalty) have made them a bit sloppy. The girl across the table from me complained that she kept finding hairs in her waffles and left her plate unfinished, still with a piece of waffle spiked on her fork as if she’d gone to take a bite and just given up in disgust. A party of three nearby ordered coffee and then were told 20 minutes later that their coffee orders had been lost. When we went up to pay (in a line stretching back 10 people) they didn’t have a record of what we’d ordered.
- Min Lokal, 422 George St, Fitzroy +61 3 9417 0333