Today Josh, Wolf and I went to Pepper, a cafe in the Newmarket area of Flemington. This little corner venue has become our favourite Friday haunt (Fridays being our version of a Sunday).
After having Wolf I, like many new mums, found that it wasn't possible to keep going to the same old holes in the wall that we used to love. Laneway cafes and 10 seat coffee stops weren't going to hack it anymore, not with a pram and a very noisy little baby. Wolf has a screech on him like a banshee.
I've found myself wishing that there was a guide like The Age's Cheap Eats or Good Food Guide with lists of places reviewed to be pram-friendly, breast-feeding-friendly, and generally comfortable for baby mums. But seeing as there isn't I thought I might just do it myself. So from now on, every cafe or restaurant that we visit with Wolf, I will review in regards to the aforementioned criteria. I hope this will be helpful for you.
Pepper have a great position on the corner of Pin Oak Crescent and a quiet and quaint residential street, removed from the noise and traffic of busy Flemington road. One of the best things about Pepper is the ample outdoor seating and back-room. Plenty of pram parking on the shady pathway, at the window seats before the coffee machine, or in cosy but bright room by the kitchen. Also, if you're breast-feeding this back-room provides four corner tables where you can happily ensconce yourself to feed bub while having a coffee and light lunch. Tables indoors are spaced widely enough that you can easily navigate your pram even if you've got one of those heavy-duty four-wheel-drives.
Excellent coffee and great food, Pepper do Breakfast and Lunch 7 days a week, and Tapas and Pizza for dinner Wednesday-Friday. For breakfast have an excellent eggs benedict ($11), with perfect hollandaise (pretty much the number one thing I wanted to eat once Wolf was born) or the sweetcorn hotcakes with bacon, slow roasted tomato, rocket and aioli ($13.50).
A stand-out lunch special was the veal tortellini baked in a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce ($12). Big flavour, delicate and perfectly cooked tortellini and easy to eat one handed while breast-feeding.
Pepper use Monte Coffee, and it is generally pretty good, but they also do an organic East Timorese coffee which has a really smooth flavour. Try this with a slice of their house-made carrot cake with cream cheese icing.
Service can be a little distracted, especially as the handful of front-of-house double as sandwich-makers, juicers and baristas, but it is always well-intended and efficient as possible. The kitchen is pretty quick, even when tables are full.
White walls contrast with a dark polished concrete floor and cute bright orange wooden chairs. It manages to be both airy and bright but cosy and warm depending on the weather. You can count on at least one other mum with a pram patronising Pepper at any visit and you never feel rushed to vacate your table. A charming place to bring your baby.
44 Pin Oak Cresecent, Flemington
Breakfast - Lunch 7 days
03 9372 2726