Higher Ground Melbourne – One of the Best Cafes for Brunch in the CBD
I have heard nothing but good things about Higher Ground even before my trip to Melbourne. Opened by the team behind The Kettle Black and Top Paddock (and later sold to the group behind Bambu and Darling Cafe), Higher Ground is located in an old power station. It has been restored and rebuilt into a cafe 2 years ago.
There wasn’t a big signboard at the front so you may not notice it if you are a tourist. But once you reach the entrance, you will find a pop-up coffee stall there. Join the queue and enjoy a cuppa while waiting. I didn’t expect to see a queue but we were lucky to get a table within 30 minutes.
The cafe has a charming industrial interior, a high ceiling, and large window panes for natural light to stream in. Sitting at the L-shaped mezzanine, we had a good view of the busy ground floor.
The team constantly pushes boundaries, and has redefined “a cafe experience”. Higher Ground is not quite a cafe, and not exactly a restaurant. They offer a creative menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even have a bar area where they make specialty coffee and wine.
Scrambled eggs are the king of the breakfast table. The fluffy Scrambled Eggs ($19.50) are served with roasted cauliflower, curry leaf, roasted chilli atop homemade flat bread. The cumin-spiced cauliflower florets were crunchy and surprisingly tasty.
My friend ordered the Minced Lamb Fry Up ($20.50) which was piled on two slices of sourdough and fried eggs. There was a little middle eastern element in the dish—they added smoked yogurt and pine nut dukkah. The dukkah gave the dish sharp and clean flavours. Together with the pickled rhubard, it killed the gaminess of the meat.
Another dish worth trying is the Kale and Cauliflower Salad ($18.50). The leaves were crispy, and tasted great with the caramelised onion bits and creamy hummus. There’s a list of small plates that includes charred brussels sprouts cured kingfish, and a charcuterie selection.
Higher Ground’s Ricotta Hotcake ($21) won my heart. Similar to the blueberry and ricotta hotcakes at Top Paddock, this is a big bowl of happiness. The hot cake, which was mildly sweet, was dressed with berries, seeds, cream, maple syrup and edible flowers. It was light and airy, and fed two people well. The berries injected a tartness, and the grains added an amazing nuttiness.
Service was quick and friendly, despite the large volume of people dining here. I will definitely be back!
Higher Ground Melbourne
Address: 650 Little Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 8899 6219
Opening Hours: Mondays to Wednesdays 7am to 4pm, Thursdays & Friday 7am to 12am, Saturdays 8am to 12am, Sundays 8am to 4pm