Having uni in the city definitely has it’s perks as there are so many cafes and restaurants to choose from, the only problem is, K and I can never decide which one to choose! After much deliberation and eye rolling from our friends, K and I finally decided to go Twenty & Six Espresso as I've been meaning to try it out ever since I walked past it a month ago.
Upon walking into Twenty & Six Espresso, I found the cafe to be rather small but quirky with all it's cute wall decor, what really caught my eye though was the crates hanging off the wall. How adorable do they look!
As it was a sunny day, K and I opted to sit at the back in the courtyard, which turned out to be a great idea as we had the courtyard all to ourselves and it was such a lovely little space as well.
The staff were extremely pleasant and helpful and after a recommendation from the waitress I settled on the chai latte as it was made in house with their own unique blend of spices. Our drinks came out promptly in little bowls which was such a cute touch and the chai was exactly what the waitress promised and more! It was just the right amount of sweet with the addition of honey and would most definitely be sitting in my top five for chai lattes.
House Chai Latte - $4.00
Add Honey - $0.50After much deliberation between the sweet dish, Dee's Nuts and the savoury dish,The Shepherd, K finally convinced me to order the latter as our friend A had already given us a container full of pure chocolate bliss from Laurent. The Shepherd, was a Pimiento braised lamb shoulder with cauliflower, pearl barley, pine nuts, gremolata and migas. The star of the dish, the lamb, was done exceptionally well, it was tender, juicy and practically melted in my mouth. It's combination with the gremolata and nuts was definitely a winner for me, the gremolata provided a fresh citrus zing to the lamb and the barley and nuts gave the dish that extra crunch. Aside from that, I found that I didn't really care for the other components of the dish and could have done without the migas which in my opinion, tasted like the flavoring you would find in Mama silver packet noodles and made the dish a lot saltier than what I would've preferred.
The Shepherd: Pimiento braised lamb shoulder with cauliflower, pearl barley, pine nuts, gremolata and migas - $18.90
Besides that minor detail though, I quite enjoyed my lamb dish and would definitely return to Twenty & Six Espresso again to try out their other dishes (I'm looking at you Dee's Nuts!). For anyone who is planning to visit Twenty & Six Espresso anytime soon, I highly recommend giving their chai latte a go, it was such a pleasant surprise for me and if anything I would come back just to have this little
cup bowl of heaven again.
While M indulged in the lamb shoulder, I strayed away from my usual salmon dish and went for ‘The Honky Tonks’ ($16.9). I must admit the name played a role in my decision but the meal itself did sound appealing. Nestled in the cosy courtyard that was reminiscent of a vegetable garden, chipotle pulled pork sliders accompanied by a winter root vegetable slaw, butter roasted pepitas and kettle chips sounded perfect.
I also ordered the Mörk hot chocolate ($4.5), again, partly because of the intriguing name. The drinks were quick to come out and I was quick to divulge in it. The hot chocolate was not sickeningly sweet, which I was worried of, as it was made of dutch cocoa and coconut sap sugar. If you, like me, love the combo of dark chocolate with coconut undertones, I would really recommend you try this drink
Mörk Hot Chocolate - $4.50The food followed soon after and I was disappointed to see that the kettle chips were just that, packaged Kettle chips. The other accompaniment of winter root vegetable slaw was also underwhelming, with what I mistakenly thought was beetroot turning out to be some salty, fluorescent purple, pickled vegetable. Having tried these dissatisfying sides, I was putting all my hopes on the sliders. Although the bun was quite dry, the moist and tender pulled pork made this small downside barely noticeable. Drizzled with aioli and contrasted with the crunch of the white cabbage, these pulled pork sliders really were the highlight of the dish.
The Honky Tonks: Chipotle pulled pork sliders with white cabbage, aioli, winter root vegetable slaw, butter roasted pepitas and kettle chips - $16.90
Despite the disappointing sides, I believe Twenty & Six Espresso has potential and would come back to try more of their menu... as well as have some coconut-y hot choc again!
Twenty & Six Espresso
|594 Queensberry St North Melbourne VIC 3051|
(03) 9329 0298
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 3:30pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Sat - Sun 8:00am - 3:30pm
Have you tried Twenty & Six Espresso before? What was your favourite dish?