One of the great things about Melbourne cafe life is the ability to frequently have a brilliant breakfast without any associated wait. Sure, there are places like Proud Mary and Chez Dre that are unlikely to ever subside in their popularity. But there are also places like Demitri’s Feast that were once the darling of the cafe scene which now you can get straight in (or close).
Demitri’s Feast has not changed. It is more a function of the dynamic scene that sees new cafes open up on a weekly basis. In Richmond it is a case of being extremely spoilt for choice. It is more which cafe is the best on the block, rather than the entire suburb!
I’m not sure of the history of the proprietors of Demitri’s but what I do know is that they were born to run a cafe. Whether I go in early on a weekday, at lunch on a Wednesday, or for breakfast on the weekend, there is a friendly and comfortable environment guaranteed. You are treated like an important customer whether the cafe is full or you are the only one there enjoying an afternoon coffee and Turkish delight. I’ve made this assessment having been here for different reasons at least 15 times.
Today we arrive late morning and find there is one last table for two inside. Knowing how good the vine tomatoes are here that is always part of my order. The coffee is good without being the centrepiece. The tomatoes on the other hand taste like they are from Italy or Greece. I haven’t asked, so I’m not sure if there is a secret, but as long as the tomatoes taste incredibly fresh and sweet, I’ll continue going back for them.
I order the scrambled eggs which have feta mixed through adding even more fluffiness. The sourdough toast is delicious, as is the bacon. Catherine goes for the smashed avocado, which comes with bacon, a poached egg, and those gorgeous confit cherry tomatoes. Both dishes are fantastic classic Melbourne breakfasts with that extra touch you expect from the top cafes.
I realise I’m giving Demitri’s Feast a big wrap. It is now part of the Richmond cafe scene, in a nondescript part of Swan Street that has seemingly built up around its success. It has personality. Whether it reminds me of one of those restaurants in Europe where you are treated like family on your first visit, or whether I am just a huge fan of the tomatoes, the equation here makes complete sense to me.