All Aboard! Melbourne’s inner suburb of Kew is home to the latest addition to our vibrant coffee culture. I set my sights on Pakington Street, and ran express to Willsmere Station.
Owner operator, Akin Celik isn’t a stranger to the area. In actual fact, Akin was born in, and has lived his entire life in Kew. He even attended the Kindergarden two doors down as a child, which is still in operation today. It’s a lifelong connection to the area that has seen him return home, so to speak, after a stint out in Ringwood.
Growing up in the area, Akin always felt this pocket of Kew was lacking the intimate style of eatery and wine bar which he craved, and tended to venture into the city for. When the stars aligned, and this space became available, he jumped at the opportunity to create the very venue he yearned for.
Paying homage to the suburbs history, the name Willsmere Station was chosen for this corner spot with a European sophistication that overlooks the Willsmere Village. ‘We couldn’t bring the train line back to Kew, but we’ve done the next best thing’. The unique approach brings with it a snug café by day, wine bar by night, with a handpicked coffee and wine list, and a tapas style food menu which draws heavily from Europe. Willsmere Station brings with it an element of the café culture which I find to be an imperative, yet dwindling feature – service by passionate staff, who not only know what they’re talking about, but love sharing their appreciation without fear or favour; a great atmosphere that’s conducive to such an appreciation of wine and coffee; and most importantly, a solid wine and coffee list. Designed by Akin, the fit out has a touch of class, with a dash of comfort. Tan upholstered chairs offer practical elegance, while clean white walls and natural tones such as Tasmanian Oak present the ideal backdrop.
The carefully curated menu matches the style of dining common to a wine bar, with tapas style options, and rotating mains and desserts that draw on seasonal ingredients, which are locally sourced and organic where possible. All day breakfast options include their signature Benedict, which is bread free and served on a ham croquette with a pea puree; Cilbir Eggs with garlic and herb labneh on Turkish bread; as well as Cheese Boards, and Charcuterie Plates. The Dinner Menu presents a taste of European, with Pintxos, Tapenades, House made pickles, Duck Liver Parfait Crumbled Mussels, and Eggplant chips to name but a few.
Coffee is sourced from Veneziano, with rotating single origin beans from guest roasters. The current Colombian Gesha presents a vibrant cup, with blood orange tones. With its strong neighbourhood vibe, Willsmere Station is set to become a Kew hotspot.
Find Willsmere Station at 158 Pakington Street, Kew.