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The Glass Den

Yes, I’m old enough to remember Pentridge Prison. It was finally closed in 1997, after spending almost 150 years as Melbourne’s main gaol. It’s famed for being the burial site of Australia’s infamous bushranger Ned Kelly, and housed some of this country’s notorious criminals. It’s now famed for being home to one of Melbourne’s iconic cafes, The Glass Den which is nothing short of impressive, encased within the bluestone walls that once served as the prison’s entrance. A quick glance around the venue itself reveals much beauty in the form of rose gardens, set against the historic bluestone backdrop. It’s no surprise that the owners of this café are also responsible for Park St Dining in Carlton. You only need to look at the menu to appreciate their quality driven offerings, with some of the most aesthetically pleasing brunch dishes this city has seen. Take the Butterfly pea cured tuna benedict for example. Carefully arranged with blue algae tapioca crackers, the tuna sits perched upon caviar cream cheese, beside a pair of poached eggs smothered in blue menteiko hollandaise. For those with a sweet tooth, the taro waffles are set to impress, creatively positioned in a coffee cup with a scoop of matcha ice-cream. These sweet waffles pair exceptionally well with the taro soil and mousse, wild berries, strawberry pearls, and meringue. Coffee is roasted a mere stone throw from Coburg, at Code Black in Brunswick. My espresso was made from a blend of a natural Ethiopian Nensebo, and washed Sebo from Testi washing station. Both are cultivated in the same region, but underwent different processing methods, which allowed for their differing cup profiles. This blend delivered a largely fruit-driven cup, with black tea highlights. Find the Glass Den at 15 Urquhart Street, Coburg.

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