It was only a matter of time before Alisa Barnes moved to Melbourne. Her coffee journey began up in Brisbane, where she owned her first café, Cypher Coffee, at the age of 21. She takes great pride in confessing she sold her beloved 1967 Chrysler Valiant Safari to pursue her dream of owning a café. A strong yearning to connect with people motivated her move into the coffee industry, and she’s never looked back since.
Earlier this year, Alisa opened Wishbone in Elsternwick, a name that was inspired by the idea of love, togetherness and over a meal.
With the assistance of MIC Projects and Marius Aurenti, Alisa designed the venue herself, and took a ‘hands on’ approach, polishing stone and building the bench seating from scratch. The venue has a fresh feel with lots of greenery to lighten the space. Wishbone prides itself in being ecofriendly, with a system that runs without dockets, dining chairs made from 100% recycled material, and straws made from glass.
The menu features dishes influenced by Alisa’s Japanese heritage. This has afforded her the opportunity to share childhood favourites with diners. Head chef, Brad Stanton (ex Glovers Station) brought the vision to life, with a menu that features Panko Crumbed Eggs with pumpkin and quinoa pancakes; Brisket Benedict with wasabi hollandaise; The ‘Sashimicado’ with salmon sashimi and avocado & Pineapple salsa on mini bagels.
Coffee is sourced from Rumble Coffee Roasters, whose transparency project fits perfectly with the café’s view on sustainability. I was elated to see a natural Ethiopian on the menu for espresso, and it didn’t fail. With its deep blueberry flavours, and rich body, this coffee took me back to the time I first fell in love with Ethiopian coffee, and reminded me why I love the endless pursuit for that ‘god in a cup moment’.
It’s great to see such a vibrant young business woman, with a café that is a great representation of her own character.
You can find Wishbone Elsternwick at 4/376 Glen Huntly Road.