There’s a new kid on the brunching block of Chapel Street.
On a strip that has more breakfast options than Geoffrey Edelsten has had fiancés, plating up a point of difference is a challenge on Chapel Street. Yet, with a unique clean eating menu, and beautiful clean living fit out, somehow Uncommon has pulled off just what its name suggests. It’s the opposite of common in this neck of the woods.
Since Uncommon started plating up poached chicken salads and acai berry bowls in December 2015, the fickle Journeyman crowd has strolled further south towards the Windsor Station-end of Chapel Street, now gathering out the front of Uncommon any given Sunday, patiently waiting to conjure up a coveted table.
Walk through the front wrought-iron gates, inside the corner café and you’ll discover a bustling brunch/lunch/dinner spot that has a Fern Gully feel to it. Vines drape the exposed edgy, warehouse-style white walls and hanging plants reinforce that you could very well be in a glasshouse. Metal benches and chairs (created using recycled materials), exposed white concrete flooring and yoga-esque house music complete the very calm, zen-like space that’s as paired back and raw as it’s food offerings.
Frekkah, quinoa and mungbeans
Whole foods, chemical-free, unprocessed, organic, ethical, sustainably-grown, local suppliers: all words at the heart of Uncommon’s philosophy on food.
Wading through the menu, with its frekkahs, quinoas and mungbeans, I felt like I was reading Lord of the Rings, so expect to practice your on-trend health food vocab (which is as foreign to me as Gandalf).
Lucky when I took this green smoothie for a spin around the brunch floor, I was on a solo mission because with all these seeds and sprouts, my big-breakfast-extra-bacon of a husband would no doubt have cringed at the A4 piece of paper (recycled paper no doubt) in front of him as if I was poking pumpkin seeds up his nostrils. But on a little inspection there are finds that aren’t going to turn you into a Miranda Kerr-style health nut, like the salmon pastrami with whipped honey (pictured below), the roasted pepperberry duck with fried duck egg, and a beef short rib for breakfast (beef for breakfast? Don’t tell Mum!).
I dipped my toe in the bowl of goji berries by opting for the salmon pastrami (predominately because it came with pumpernickel and I just wanted to say the word pumpernickel), which was full of flavour and a humungous plateful (most of which I had to leave). The pumpernickel was demolished. It was good pumpernickel. PUMPERNICKEL!!
Pumpernickel aside, all dishes are plated up with little flowers and bright colours, making it all Instagram crack, including the colourful cakes sitting politely on the counter that were softly calling my name.
You can wash down your coconut, quiona and beetroot morning super salad with coffee courtesy of Fitzroy’s Industry Beans, fresh juices, fruit-filled smoothies, vanilla bean matcha latte tea or daringly some sustainably-produced bubbles for breakfast.
This is not your cookie cutter café. Firstly, it’s very uncommon to not see a Chapel Street brunch spot turn into a pumpkin after sunset – your first point of difference is a dinnertime menu to match its egg colleagues.
Uncommon is no doubt erring towards the side of clichéd healthy eating. Yet, regardless of whether you’re all aboard the train to the city of chia, with friendly staff, a fun vibe and lots of plant appreciation, Uncommon holds the hand of us non-lycra-wearing-yogis as we venture into the land of buckwheat.
Super popular with the Prahranites, this is a health-focused alternative to your usual brunch of bacon and eggs.
Uncommon | 60 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9510 6655