From their opening mid last year, no filter was needed to appreciate the scrumptious and undeniably ‘Instagram-worthy’ dishes served up at The Crux & Co. As their photographic dishes flooded social feeds all over Melbourne, the stunning cafe have stepped it up a notch with a new menu, and a new head chef, to bring forward bold new flavours to help push forward to city’s ever-evolving brunch scene.
Born in Kagawa City, a food-centric city in Japan, Ryo Northfield now leads the kitchen, bringing with him experience from working as head chef role under his master, legendary Ironchef Hiroyuki Sakai, and his more recent role of Executive Chef at Melbourne’s Duck Duck Goose.
While the dishes have changed, the interior remains the same, as quiet beats fill the background of this cosy, and neutral coloured venue, complemented by the splashes of greenery. Invited to try the new menu, I couldn’t go past the matcha pancakes ($20). Flavoursome as it is beautiful, these light and fluffy pancakes didn’t have the harsh vegetal matcha taste like the colour would deceive you to believe. With its hint of savoury, the pancakes make a perfect pair with the many toppings and options presented on the plate. From the Mont Blanc Chestnut cream, caramel popcorn, yuzu coulis, maple syrup, ganache through to the fresh berries, this one dish gives you the power to create a variety of flavour pairings on a single plate.
Like most popular lunch venues in Melbourne, Ahi Poke Bowls ($22.5) have made their way onto the menu. Fresh and full of flavour, this bowl had a good mix of flavour and textures with its diced tuna, pickled cabbage, carrot, avocado and seasonal vegetables with rice. They went easy on the wasabi mayo sauce making it easy to enjoy the fresh taste of the tuna, while still giving the dish a nice sharpness.
While the menu features some completely new items, some of their old dishes have been redesigned and touched up with new flavour and precision like their South American pork belly burger ($23.5). Left cooking for 8-12 hours, this tender piece of pork is the highlight of the dish – as it rightfully should be – accentuated with bursts of flavour from its apple bourbon bbq sauce, aged cheddar and slaw on a pumpkin bun.
Big changes have been made at The Crux & Co, but aside from the change in seasonal cakes, the delectable sweets and pastries at the glass counter are to remain exactly as they are.
The Crux and Co
Address: G01/35 Albert Road, Melbourne 3004
Contact: (03) 9820 1081
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday 8am-4pm
Images supplied and credited to Simon Shiff