Flipboard Cafe is a tiny “hole-in-the-wall” cafe that I often walked past throughout my stay in Melbourne. In fact I did not even realise that it was a cafe till I was looking for food options nearby the serviced apartment where I stayed using the Urbanspoon app! 😛
Before realising it was a cafe, I often wondered what does this weird-looking shop do as I kept seeing people sitting in the 3 cubby holes, sometimes drinking coffee or smoking (like the guy you see in the photo above). It is actually a niche cafe nestled in the shop-front window of Brolly Studios and Benetts Lane Jazz Club, operating across 3 levels. Since the food reviews seemed good from Urbanspoon app, I decided to check it out on my last morning in Melbourne.
Apparently, Flipboard Cafe was only opened in September 2013, after the owners decided to renovate a 20-year-old unused shop-front window, with the central staircase as an obvious feature, helping to shift the paradigm of coffee shops from the horizontal to the vertical. The design of the tiny cafe of 20 square metres is indeed quite unique as each level is narrow with only a few seats but it extends to 3 levels, as well as 3 tables outdoors next to the cyclist track and car park.
At around 11am, I was unable to get a seat in the cafe and had to sit outside after ordering a Cappuccino and a pastry stuffed with spinach and topped with a sunny side up (A$9=S$10.60).
There is good reason why the cafe is popular with Melbournians, I like the coffee art on my aromatic and flavourful cappuccino! However I didn’t think my pastry was worth spending on though. It was not warm at all, so I thought the pastry was a bit hard and the sunny side up also felt tough, although the filling was quite tasty. Guess that’s the result of not having any oven in the cafe, they have no way to heat up the food…
Overall, this cool niche cafe is worth checking out for a cup of good coffee if you are in Melbourne city, but perhaps you can skip the food given its limited and only-room-temperature options. Or maybe I ordered the “wrong food”… *shrug*