This is one part of Melbourne that is not particularly scenic, next to both train and tram tracks, and a double lane busy road. The scene is not important though when assessing a new place to try for breakfast.
Mixed Business is next to the Terminus Hotel, another place that we are yet to try, but it is on the very long list. We have a short wait outside, which on many other days would be extremely pleasant, but today it feels like winter has come. Three groups waiting are asked whether they would like to take occupation in the courtyard and the resounding decision is no, no and no!
A few minutes later and we have a great position overlooking the baristas on the counter. My eye is immediately taken by a smashed pea and ricotta omelette with fresh mint and smoked cherry tomato. It comes out looking great, with toast that is actually buttered, which unfortunately isn’t a rule anymore.
The omelette itself is well executed, nicely folded with the smashed pea, ricotta and smoked cherry tomato all neatly hidden, but exhibiting enough flavour that each bite has that full spectrum of those tastes. Catherine chooses the potato and rosemary rosti with poached eggs, avocado and house relish. The poached eggs are perfectly cooked, oozing over the toast and providing some extra sauce in addition to the relish to go over the potato rosti. The rosti itself is crisp but has plenty of soft potato in between. It is a nice simple combination.
The Seven Seeds blend here is so well made that I try three long blacks. I love the fact they are served just-extracted, without filling the cup up to the brim with hot water. While it would be great for a single origin to be offered, the blend makes for a terrific coffee. Catherine had semi-sweet freshly squeezed orange juice, and a spearmint tea with fresh mint which was a good way to finish.
We had no issues with service being right on the counter, meaning every time we needed anything it was only a metre away. Inside, besides being sheltered from the weather, the café is minimalist with white walls, high ceilings, and a mix of wooden table settings. The courtyard is particularly appealing for warmer days, with plenty of nicely shaded tables, and some would be in the open sun.
Mixed Business is the right combination of excellent food and coffee in a casual and comfortable setting. It is definitely one for the return list, especially to combine with a trip to the Terminus for a beer after breakfast or lunch.