Young Bloods Diner has just opened on the site of the popular weekend Rose Street Artists Market and given the paucity of truly child-friendly (as opposed to just child-tolerant) cafes in ever-gentrifying Fitzroy I think it’ll do really well. It’s not all about the rugrats though – the setting and menu, not to mention the liquor licence, means that adults will still find something to love at Young Bloods Diner.
I loved the jaunty yellow accents dotted throughout the space, from the awnings to the metal stools to the ubiquitous subway tiles (though set at a slippery slide diagonal). Coffee is served behind that yellow-tiled counter using an in-house blend.
The main indoor area has a mix of small and communal tables, set low and high, and the space is flooded with a delicious sunlit warmth that it’s like sitting under one huge sun lamp. There’s a rooftop area and outdoor seats which will no doubt be popular in warmer weather.
The menu starts with breakfast sure-fire hits like porridge, granola and eggs (all under $10, a rarity in Fitzroy) before veering to an intriguing ‘breakfast salad’ of black pudding, tomato, potato croutons, egg and lettuce.
Lunch includes pre-made baguettes ($9), a seasonal soup ($10) and some creative salads with ingredients that sit at the opposite spectrum to iceberg lettuce – confit ocean trout, corned tongue and confit artichoke for example.
Out of the larger plates I chose the short rib gratin with greens and fried egg ($18) which turned out to be a large layered rectangle of thinly sliced potato and fall-apart beef balancing a gorgeously oozy fried egg on top and hiding some wilted bitter greens on the bottom. A hearty dish you won’t find on every cafe menu.
The crowning glory of my lunch was the gently vanilla pumpkin brulee with a slice of pain d’epice ($9). A smooth, orange-hued custard hinted at the pumpkin’s natural sweetness without the overpowering sugar hit found in American-style pumpkin pie filling. I would have loved another slice of pain d’epice just to use it to wipe the bowl clean!
Young Bloods Diner will have a lot of competition in cafe-saturated Fitzroy but I think its interesting but accessible menu, very reasonable prices, bright, sparkling decor (and we all love a rooftop bar), kid-friendly environment and proximity to the popular Rose Street Artists Market will enable it to carve out its own niche.
Young Bloods Diner 60 Rose St, Fitzroy +61 3 9419 3864
Wednesday – Sunday • 7am – 5pm