Normally I’d flee a cafe that has crystals on display like a vampire does garlic.
But I have it on the good authority of an astute local judge that Page of Cups is the real deal, with an emphasis on in-house, simple quality, even to the extent of baking its own croissants.
So Marnes, Bennie and I give it a go.
- Address: 336 Melbourne Road, Newport
- Phone: 0421 940 141
Page of Cups is a comfy place, with those crystals joined by various bits and pieces (including lovely hand-made boots) and recycled furniture, teaspoons and crockery that all contribute to the vibe.
The breakfast menu is longish, and Marnes heads in that direction.
The lunch offerings, less formally organised, are outlined for us via the obliging staff, the display cabinet, and the sandwich board outside.
That’s where Bennie and I head.
Marnes is happy with her Turkish bread stuffed with bacon, pesto, spinach, parmesan and a poached egg ($15), noting with approval wonderfully present pesto flavours.
This isn’t really a burger kind of place, so we’re unsurprised Bennie’s brioche burger ($13) arrives without chips.
No matter – a handful of glossy, juicy mushies are every bit as enjoyable.
The burger looks pretty darn ugly on the plate, but Bennie enjoys it nonetheless.
The beef patty has all the hallmarks of in-house preparation, along with fine, beefy flavour and a pleasantly chewy texture.
My chicken and leak pie looks on the modest side in terms of size, for $16.50, but eats well – and is bigger than it looks – the finely diced innards being good and tasty.
The accompanying salad bits are fresh, while the spicy and fruity (peach? apricot?) chutney is a knock-out.
If our lunches/brunches have been solidly enjoyable, it’s our sweeties that seem to truly illustrate the Page of Cups’ hand-on, home-made ethos.
Marnes and I both enjoy slices of toasted banana bread ($5.50) slathered with butter.
The loaf is both kinda plain and many kinds of wonderful, with hefty quotients of coconut and dried fruit.
Bennie digs his chocolate mud cake ($6.50) – no explanation needed.
Our drinks – soy latte ($4.50), cafe latte ($4) and large iced chocolate ($5) – are all fine.
I like it that Page of Cups has such a different feel from the west’s many hipster cafes, as enjoyable as they can often be.
Kenny Weir is the founder of Consider the Sauce, the definitive guide to eating in Melbourne’s western suburbs – www.considerthesauce.net