Suburban Yarraville has sprouted a inner-north-like hipster haven called Butcher 128. The cafe has been converted from an old butcher’s shop and some of the signage is still intact. It’s located at number 128 Roberts Street. Simple equation = Butcher 128.
The front room is all aqua and black subway tiles and naked bulb lights with a steel butcher’s rack hanging over the coffee counter.
The back dining area lets the butchery aesthetic go for some wooden built-ins, an awesome combination of wooden banquettes and alcoves.
I particularly liked the high communal table with an inbuilt herb garden hiding little dinosaur visitors.
As a former Fitzroy resident, I felt right at home in the uber-cool decor. Better still, so did my kids, as it was a very child-friendly cafe, with high chairs, change facilities, kids menu and even a sandpit out the back.
The menu was split into breakfast from the deli, breakfast from the kitchen, lunch from the deli and lunch from the kitchen – basically a choice between hot meals and cold meals/baked goods.
I ordered the hot smoked salmon with a tangy pickled beetroot relish, Persian feta, avocado and two perfect sous vide poached eggs ($16.50). The waiter told me that cooking the eggs sous vide means that they can be done in advance and just gently reheated while the yolk remains gorgeously runny and the whites just set (Correction: the owner told me “the reason they sous vide our eggs is not so that we can prepare in advance, but water bathing the eggs to our specific recipe before we poached them to order gives us better yolk consistency and texture every time (in our opinion)”). These were some of the best poached eggs I’ve had in a while.
T opted for a simple croissant with ham and brie ($8) which was nothing remarkable though the croissant (from Noisette I believe?) was flaky and buttery.
The coffee comes from boutique roaster of Maling Room.
Butcher 128 is a great addition to Yarraville and is just off the bike path too. In that sense it fits my criteria for the perfect cafe – child-friendly, bike-friendly plus of course with good food and service.
Butcher 128, 128 Roberts St, Yarraville (03) 9318 0975