Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cafe Rosamond, Collingwood

It's a wonder anyone ever eats at Cafe Rosamond, rear end of 191 Smith Street (enter from Charles Street), Collingwood, Tel +61 3 9419 2270. First, you have to find the place, which is no small challenge given the lack of signage. Then, there's a giant killer tape-worm wall mural designed to scare you off. And finally, a less-than-welcoming staff do their best to make you feel like an intruder.

But if you make it past these defensive measures, the breakfast ain't half bad. I had a very good serve of scrambled "Kangaroo Island Free Range" eggs, which were just soft and very lightly flecked with chives. The side of house-made baked beans was also very good, served on crunchy sourdough toast with a few crumbles of fetta. The weak links were the bacon, which was OK, but under-grilled, and the lack of condiments. If you decide to take the low-service road (which Rosamond does, with no table orders and almost no table service), then maybe you should stick a bottle of HP on every table. I'm not about to go schlepping across the room begging for sauce once the food has arrived.

Maybe I was unlucky, but my experience was a million miles from Matt Preston's claim that Rosamond is "welcoming and unpretentious". The venue may be "old Fitzroy" and the furniture the spoils of a big night of dumpster-diving, but I found the place both unfriendly and quite pretentious. Too much contrived quirkiness. A poseur in vintage gear is still a poseur.

The menu stretches from classic cafe to retro. There's a touch of 70's tuck shop thanks to hot jaffles filled with spaghetti and cheese, banana and nutella, or bacon and banana. There's cinnamon toast, muesli, porridge and croissants. Or for something more exotic-sounding, there's baked eggs with chorizo, corriander and broad beans, or with asparagas, spinach and "special sauce". Mysterious.

I save my final comment for the coffee. Once again, where Mr Preston's coffee was particularly good, mine was particularly average. And since we're talking Genovese (normally excellent), and the coffee-guy is said to have worked at Genovese for 7 years, it's all the more surprising that my cappucino was over-filled, under-frothed, and borderline weak. How embarrassment.

11/20 "banana and nutella jaffles"


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

couldn't agree more regarding the service at rosamond. too much attitude and too slow - waiting 10 minutes for a coffee is pretty standard. as is receiving food before coffee when they are ordered together. i can't believe it takes longer to make a latte than prepare and toast a baguette!

but ... i have never had a bad coffee. that's what keeps me going back.

15/1/06 18:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I loved the bacon there, and I can't stand soggy bacon. Did you ask for it to be made crispy when you ordered? I did, and that's the one thing that I tell people this place does well- they really made it crispy - it was the highlight of my breakfast when I ate there....

26/2/06 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Rosamond because my boyfriend told me that it was Daniel Chirico's favourite cafe and so we had to try it out (always on the lookout for good cafes!!).

I had a lovely experience. The service wasn't just good, it was extra-nice. Sure they don't come to your table to take your order but frankly, that's not a big deal.

I ordered a soy latte and checked that they had Vitasoy (I really don't like any other soy milk). The waitress told me they had Bonsoy and that it was in fact BETTER than Vitasoy. I must admit I took that with a grain of salt when I warily went ahead and ordered a cup but it really was a deliciously made cup o' joe. And I would really recommend the coffee there to anyone. It seems a shame that there are inconsistencies though.

The breakfast I had was scrambled eggs, bacon and an avocado-ey salad on the side. The eggs were great, the salad FANTASTIc but the bacon was just average. I don't like my bacon soggy or crispy but 'JUST RIGHT'!! Small flaw.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this cafe to anyone. In a way I think the cafe itself is misplaced. It belongs in St.Kilda or Elwood - not amongst the crusty, angsty types who haunt the northern suburbs.

28/2/06 10:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"cup o' joe"?? wanker! you're welcome to your st kilda.

25/5/06 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Northern people are soooo different to those in St Kilda. Most of us Northern folk didn't migrate from Bentleigh, or North Balywn to 'settle' in a suburb rich with the Secret Life of Us culture instilled into them via the 8:30pm slot on channel 10. Oh hang on, I'm feeling a little crusty or angsty, I better go and soothe myself with some culture or some other strange thing that belongs in the northern suburbs, and leave the decent civilized cafes with the special kind of soy milk to the nice clean suburb of St Kilda! Are you serious?? Do you have any idea what St Kilda was like only 12 years ago? How time changes everything.

21/6/06 19:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, the ownership has changed since the Matt Preston review. Also, does he really ever say anything bad or constructive? Does he know anything about coffee at all?

14/9/06 20:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE Rosamond and the service is sweet and friendly and all other good things. I always get nice coffee (much better than I get in St Kilda thank you very much!) and they produce the yummiest food from the tiniest little space... Lack of table service is not a problem - just order on your way in and then sit down! And beautifully cooked organic eggs should not be covered in HP but hey, if you really need it, it's like FIVE steps to the counter dude...?! Finally, I am neither angsty nor crusty but very happy enjoying Rosamond next to anyone who chooses to be... but get back to southside if you are going to whine!!

5/11/06 01:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't imagine how the lovely, and yes, unpretentious, Rosamondonians (both former and current) could be less than friendly to anyone. Perhaps they just saw you for the sad self-indulgent try-hard that you are? Not that they could have guessed at your piss-poor food writing though. Glad you won't be back at my local soon.

26/3/07 14:46  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your gratuitous insult, made under cover of anonymity. That was very brave and very clever and exceedingly witty. That you can't imagine poor service of the sort I enjoyed at Rosamond tells me that you (a) have no imagination; or (b) have so many chips on your shoulder that you should probably apply for a casino licence. Please start your own blog, and stop polluting mine with your comments.

26/3/07 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting.... I go back for the good quality coffee which is sometimes hard to find on Smith St.
But I also find the service ambivalent. They aren't rude but also seem to never smile.

18/5/07 23:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right about the service. There are occasionally nice staff there, but they are overshadowed by the others who seem to resent anyone who wants to order anything. And they always seem so incredibly eager to close. Sometimes I think they should just not bother opening at all. And why did they abolish the french toast? Could they just not be bothered making it anymore?

26/7/07 15:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really disagree with the rating,i think the food is great, you can't go past the scrambled eggs with avocado, i think they are the best scrambled eggs this side of town. I've found the service friendly and the coffee great. This place is consistently great and to say otherwise is a joke. I have found no drop in service or food since they changed owners and the new opening up of the cafe makes it even better.

21/2/10 18:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting how so many are happy to give cafes a really hard time. Sorry what cafe do you run/own? Oh that's right, you don't - and you've never worked in hospitality. Seriously I wish people would try to think a bit before that write a load of shit on the internet because they just want to feel important or be heard!
I heading to Rosamond today to meet a mate and I will bet that they will be cranking busy being a sunday, I will judge it considering how busy they are - and not just have unrealistic expectations like most of the post.

17/7/10 11:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they are closed on Sundays..?

29/6/11 18:06  
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