Not being much of a drinker, when I say my ‘local’ I’m generally referring to the nearest café to my house rather than the nearest pub.

While Ici is not strictly my local, it is the sort of café which I wish was my local. The quiet and unassuming bluestone building is tucked away in the leafy streets of Fitzroy, away from the hurly-burly of Smith Street and Brunswick Street, and its clientele seem to be neighbours and nearby residents.

The café has a cosy wood interior, reminiscent of a dusty French bistro, and a blackboard menu written with a good selection of sweet and savoury breakfast dishes.

I debated whether to go savoury (scrambled tofu) or sweet (French toast) but decided on the scrambled tofu with tamari rice balls, spinach, shiitake mushrooms on two slices of sourdough garnished with beetroot relish, chopped spring onions and coriander ($16.50). I like the textural differences between the slightly crunchy rice and the fluffy tofu and the dish tasted fresh and healthy, albeit a bit salty. Overall I enjoyed the dish and would return for it.

R and A shared a croissant accompanied by three pots of jam and passionfruit butter and a bowl of rather lumpen porridge with banana, pistachio , natural yoghurt and palm sugar ($9.50).  They said that it was one of the better tasting porridges they’d had but they preferred their porridge runnier.

The service was a little bit space cadet but not so terrible to be remarkable – probably just a bit sleepy from partying the night before.

I liked the low-key vibe of Ici (unlike the head-spinning Min Lokal) and next time I think I’ll try the French toast…

For more reviews, check out Addictive & Consuming and older posts from Where’s the Beef? and The Age’s Epicure.

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