District North cafe is a new addition to the increasingly interesting dining out scene in Moonee Ponds and Melbourne’s inner north-west. It’s a bright beautiful building in amongst the rather dingy and grey surroundings of Mt Alexander Road, a peacock amongst the pigeons.
The Scandi-chic cafe is only 8 weeks old and already has a signature dish – the pandan pancakes. This photogenic dish is everywhere on social media and it’s delicious to boot.
The plate is an artistic scatter of crushed sesame meringue, edible violets, mango and caramelised pineapple. Atop a swipe of kaya mascarpone are a stack of fluffy, fluorescent green pancakes, sweetened with the faint coconutty-flavour of pandan. The plain pancakes are delicious on their own and the other accompaniments are just the cherry on top.
The rest of the all day food menu is just as interesting. I try the rubbed chicken tacos – three substantial parcels stuffed with chicken, crunchy slaw, avocado, herb and lime yoghurt and tequila salsa ($16).
I mention to the owner that I thought it needed a bit of punch for those who like heat – a few optional drops of habanero sauce would be perfect. He happily takes my feedback on board so you may see it on the menu later!
The coffee counter holds other treats – ready made sandwiches such as chorizo and fried chicken and sugar-loaded doughnuts made in house.
The coffee comes from Brunswick’s Code Black Coffee made with a La Marzacco machine and chai from Chai Boy. The premises is licensed from morning to night, so you’re able get a Bloody Mary at 7:30am if you so wish!
At the moment there are no plans to open for general evening trade though the space can be booked out for private functions in the evening, so the liquor license is useful then.
District North also has many family-friendly features – wide aisles for prams, high chairs, kids menu, change table and a big blackboard and colouring-in.
Finally, the service at District North is super-friendly. The owner Andrew works the floor with a smile and is happy to chat. After being out of the hospitality business for 9 years he decided it was time to create build a business for himself again. He’s got grand plans for the outdoor area (currently the staff carpark) and how the cafe will become a drawcard for the local community. It’s clear that the cafe is a passion project.
District North is a sophisticated addition to Moonee Ponds and the imaginative and creative menu means that I’ll be returning often. Go before the crowds find it!
- The pandan pancakes are a Instagram favourite;
- All day menu and liquor license;
- Available for private bookings;
- Family-friendly features;
- Free street parking on Mt Alexander Road; and
- 10 minute walk from Moonee Ponds train station, 2 minute walk from #59 tram stop 31, 5 minute walk from #82 tram stop 33.