A few months ago, I wrote about my favourite Prahran breakfast place thinking I’d found my breakfast soul mate, with whom I’d grow old with. Well, in the fickle land that is life living on Chapel Street, we’ve filed for divorce, I’ve got the kids and a new favourite Prahran café for coffee guzzling and avocado toast critiquing.
I am secretly quite furious at myself for having not discovered Journeyman, on the Windsor-end of Chapel Street (yes, technically, it’s not in Prahran, but it’s still the 3181 postcode, so I’m letting it through), before now, because it’s the epitome of everything I love about brunching.
This Chapel Street bruncher packs a crowd
I don’t require much convincing to spend a cold Saturday morning in this warm, warehouse-feel, Melbourne brunch spot. Actually, I clearly don’t need much convincing at all, having paid Journeyman a visit three out of the past four days. I feel infinitely cooler just being in the presence of all the polished concrete floors, bare red brick, wood panelling, an exposed trussed roof, wooden tables and even a long log-like bench seat.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who’s clearly discovered a piece of café gold in Journeyman, as it’s always packed with people, from its early opening to late afternoon close. On the weekends, there’s most often even a line out the front door that requires navigation. But once you’re seated the wait staff are attentive, and the food and coffee so quick that you could easily forget you’re sharing your breakfast heaven with a bunch of strangers.
By God, Journeyman is interstate famous!
You know a café is good when you’re in Adelaide getting a coffee from Rundle Mall, chatting to the barista. You tell him you live in Melbourne, Prahran actually, and he guesses, very accurately, that my favourite local café must be Journeyman. Is he a fucking mindreader?
It doesn’t surprise me that a good barista would be on a first name basis with Journeyman, given the coffee is some of the best in the area, if not (big call coming up…) in Melbourne.
Originally going by the name of Dukes Coffee Roasters, the once coffee roaster-come-café rebranded its Chapel Street eatery to Journeyman last year, to separate the brunch hot spot from the coffee roasting side of the business. However, the serious coffee afficiondos can still blessedly take home Dukes-branded coffee for a caffeine shoot-up later.
Food: fresh and fabulous
Journeyman is a great place to kick off the weekend, joining the other Athleisure-dressed Prahran locals sipping their skinny lattes and demolishing their variously-cooked eggs. The small food menu is full of your breakfast favourites but with a unique twist. Like scrambled eggs with smoked tomato, chilli, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil; and the beetroot cured salmon with quinoa, avocado, chilli, poached eggs and feta (pictured below, with an extra side of sourdough toast), which is pretty damn good.
On the weekends when we’re chasing waves for my surf-addicted husband and don’t have time to stop for a lazy breakfast, the cabinet of take-away choices are a God-send. They’re all fresh, as in they don’t taste like rubber that’s been sitting in a cabinet for a week. It’s always hard to choose from the delicious, apple-filled bircher muesli; the sliders; or the hangover-curing ham and cheese croissant, with lots of shaved Jarlsberg cheese. Breakfast in one hand, large coffee in the other, I’m set for a morning of surfing widowdom (you can read about my favourite Victorian surfing widow spots in a separate post).
Then there’s the glorious cabinet of cakes that I awkwardly leave drool marks on every time I visit because the contents all look so mouth-wateringly appealing. With a choice between the likes of carrot cake with an over-the-top lashing of cream cheese, berry cheesecake and mandarin and polenta cake, I can never make up my mind, opting to stand there unashamedly staring instead.
Journeyman | 169 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9521 4884