14 October, 2010

Catching up in Coburg

Half Moon Cafe: 13 Victoria St, Coburg; (03) 9350 476
Cafe Sarabella: 1 Victoria St, Coburg; (03) 9353 5239

With an upper limit for house prices in sight, and the gentry moving ever northward, it's only a matter of time before Coburg is the new Fitzroy.

The Victoria St mall is the obvious candidate to fill in for Brunswick St. But what to eat and sup while posing? Felafel, for starters.

Half Moon Cafe is drawing punters from afar for its famed felafel - made with fava beans, rather than chickpeas - and accompaniments both traditional and inventive. Their special offers cauliflower and eggplant alongside a smoky babaganoush; other mixes offer fetta and olive; or more traditional tahini and pickle.

A couple of shops along, at Cafe Sarabella, carefully prepared Indian food is on offer, with at least half the dishes vegetarian, and many gluten-free and organic. This isn't a run-of-the-mill Indian takeaway, however. Its decor and cosiness is the match of the shabbiest of chic inner-suburban cafes, and it offers a range of sweets to nibble alongside a specially prepared cup of marsala tea or coffee.

The proprietress roasts a mix of six spices, chops them, then grinds to powder, sieves, and grinds again. There's no caffeine in the mix, but she adds the blend to tea or coffee at the customer's whim. If you like your hot drinks a little spicy, she can also add some pepper. Or, if you like to do the mixing yourself after someone else has done the roasting and grinding, her marsala mix is available to buy.

Sip, savour, and soak up the new inner north.


  1. I've had some top nosh at Serabella - great for fussy vegan friends too.

  2. Good to know her food matches her tea :) She does a lot of organic and gluten-free stuff too - it's an impressive mix

  3. yes! my housemates and i have coined the phrase "ho-berg from coberg" which basically mean that coberg rules.