Last week on a wintery Melbourne day, I visited MILK Café in Balwyn and instantly forgot about the gloomy weather as I was greeted by the lovely mother-son duo running this exceptional suburban cafe.
Opened in March 2014, MILK is a quaint and cosy little café nestled in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and is operated by Debbie and Alex Smith.
Debbie has over ten years’ experience running successful cafes in the Melbourne suburbs previously occupying spaces in Malvern East and Ashburton. After taking a small break she got back into the café scene after stumbling on the perfect little space in Balwyn and we’re sure glad she did because it’s an absolute gem.
Alex’s interest in coffee started at Milk Cloud in Ashburton when he would spend Saturdays on the machine helping Debbie with the bustling trade. It was here he realised his passion for making coffee and has since taken up position of head barista at MILK.
Debbie has been serving Veneziano’s Forza blend for the past 5 ½ years and has never looked back. And Alex’s passion for coffee is obvious as you watch him work his magic behind that incredible looking La Marzocco and serve up his work of art with pride in their stunning collection of pastel crockery.
MILK stands for ‘Mum in her little kitchen’ and once you visit you’ll understand why. Each and every meal on the well-executed menu is made fresh-to-order by Debbie herself.
My friend ordered the haloumi with pan roasted cherry tomatoes, pickled zucchini and grilled bread. It was a real treat with a little pickled zucchini surprise taking the dish to the next level. I was having one of those avocado days so unsurprisingly ordered the avocado with fetta lemon and cherry tomato on toast. Served on gorgeous crockery and sprinkled with black sesame seeds – I was pretty happy!
The fit out is the perfect balance of homely and quirky, modern design and it really is the perfect space for a quick coffee or a longer stay to catch up with friends over some delicious food.
This favourite haunt for Balwyn locals is worth the drive – do it before it’s no longer a secret!
Location: 186 Belmore Road, Balwyn North, Victoria 3103
Hours: M T W T F 7:30am – 3pm
Coffee: Veneziano Coffee – Forza Blend