Batch Espresso has been fuelling the good people of Balaclava with honest food and quality coffee way back before eating out was the cool thing to do. This small cafe, situated in the midst of cosmopolitan Carlisle Street, is worth visiting as part of anyone’s food journey.
Although I do love sitting inside and getting amongst the hustle and bustle that occurs inside Batch’s premises, you will not regret nabbing a spot on Carlisle Street, weather permitting. It is truly a captivating experience to observe the eclectic crowds that flock to and fro.
Batch has created a space that is humble, warm and welcoming for all people, from whatever walk of life you hail from. Retro black and white floor tiles are the absolute bomb and a rare sight to behold. Meanwhile, you’re looking at only 25-30 cosy seats inside which packs out like you wouldn’t believe. Best is to head down early in the morning or just after the lunch rush if you want to avoid any queues. Today’s chom was for lunch and praise the good Lord, an abridged breakfast menu was available too.
Fresh seasonal fruit salad with lavender yoghurt and almond maple crunch ($9.50). One of the lighter dishes that Batch has on their menu. This plate has all your favourite fruity friends and while the crunch appears to be muesli – it is in-fact a more sugary topping. A light, but sweet choice.
Fried haloumi with roast vegetables, pesto, balsamic reduction and sourdough ($14.00). Could haloumi be the new goat’s cheese? It is soft and tasty but can be slightly chewy if you leave it for too long. If eaten with appropriate haste this cheese (and the dish) is so delicious!
Batch have made an awesome attempt at an old Eastern European dish, commonly known to many as ‘latkes’. These are potato pancakes with NZ smoked salmon, cornichons, chives and horseradish cream friache ($15.00). While these are not as thick as I remember Bubba used to make, they certainly are as delicious. Thin, oiled up potato treats perfectly matched with a cream and salmon topping. I love these – may not be for all.
Fried eggs with lemon, cumin, mint, baba ghanoush and rocket on taosted Turkish bread ($14.00). A generous layer of baba was spread onto one piece of Turkish bread all hiding under the double egg roof. A respectably sized breakfast option that I would recommend to anyone that is not starving. A top combo of flavours.
Batch’s avocado and feta mash on sourdough ($12.00). Don’t tell me you are over this dish. I see people order it everywhere. On the avo-feta spectrum, this one scores very highly for me. The portion size is monstrous, two pieces of toast is kind and you know the rest. Definitely big enough, although a side of salmon or a poached egg would look great.
Why not follow the Melb-Mex trend and order something hip and trendy? The quesadilla with truffled corn, mushrooms, guacamole and sour cream ($15.00) is magnifico. Have fun alternating between the two dipping sauces (double dipping essential). Only negative about this - trying to pronounce it.
There you have it, another happy chom. Batch Espresso was one of the first cafes I explored as I began my food conquest a few years back and it was love at first sight. As I am sure you can easily tell, my love is still burning as bright as ever. Give this place a shot and I am sure yours will too.
Once you have finished your meal, I could not recommend a stroll down Carlisle Street more highly. Be sure to collect a bunch of sesame and poppy seed bagels from Glick’s and seek out the new smash-hit self-serve yoghurt joint ‘Yo-Chi’ for dessert. Upon the successful completion of all three of these food-inspired adventures you are sure to be left in a blissful state.
The Important Details…
Cuisine: Tip-top cafe fare
Noise: Hustle bustle
Suitable for: The young and old
Dress: St Kilda cosmopolitan
Price: $15 – $20 per head
My View: A classic
Address: 320 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Phone: (03) 9530 3550