Fraser Davies spent just short of a decade at the helm of The Fitz Café in Fitzroy before finally taking the leap into café ownership. It was a nudge by wife Tiffany that spurred his move into Northcote, and so Field Black was born. The field out here is flourishing, when it comes to café culture. High Street Northcote has a history spanning over 150 years, and well established reputation for its eclectic range of venues. Field Black fits right in, offering its unique style and service.
So where does the name ‘Field Black’ actually come from? Well, according to Fraser, it’s a combination of a few things but most significantly, it stems from his New Zealand heritage, and respect for the fields from which he sources his produce. We must forgive him for his Rugby alliance with the All Blacks. He’s stayed true to his Kiwi heart, and peppered the venue with clean, yet defined vestiges of the achromatic colour in its namesake.
A brief visit was enough to appreciate how clean yet warm the style and approach is at Field Black; a true reflection of an operator focused on creating an experience, and not just serving as another café to get a soy latte from. Nothing against soy, or lattes- I’ve been enjoying my fair share lately. I did, however, appreciate the full bodied espresso offering care of Padre Beans. They also have filter coffee, which does play into the ‘black’ theme.
I didn’t have the time to sit and enjoy the food offerings. However, considering head chef Ritchie Boucher, who by the way is also Kiwi, was previously head chef at Oakridge (My favourite winery in the Yarra Valley), I have no doubt the menu tastes as good as it sounds. Think Breakfast Gnocchi with pork & fennel sausage; ‘Black Eggs & Ham’ Benedict with activated charcoal hollandaise; Chilli Con Carnitas with BBQ Pulled Pork & Monterey Jack Cheese; and Mac & Cheese Croquettes with hummus chips.
Find Field Black at the northern end of High Street. Don’t let the frontage deceive you. There’s a gorgeous courtyard out back, with vibrant greenery, and a pet friendly area.
Find them at 468 High Street, Northcote.