This is why hipsters can’t have nice things.

I read about a new café in Richmond in The Age’s Good Food this week. Dennis the Menace.

FOMO set in instantly. If there’s a trendy new breakfast place in my area, I make it my priority to brunch there asap.

So off Kara and I went this morning with high expectations. You walk in, and HIPSTER smacks you right in the face. I have never been surrounded my so many beards, beanies, checked shirts and artfully mismatched clothing in my life. Oh so trendy, and oh so Richmond.

Thank god we were wearing beanies inside; a small token of rejecting conformity.

We stood there looking awkward waiting for someone to serve us, finally a waitress walked past. “Can we please get a table?” I ask. “You’ll have to speak to Talullah*” she informs me and walks away.

I stand there racking my brains trying to think who Talullah was and where I could find her – it’s been a while since I memorised my spreadsheet of every waitress in Richmond so I was a bit rusty.

Several staff unhelpfully walked straight past us before Talullah appeared. In their defence, sitting down at a café is awfully mainstream and they probably just thought we were being trendy and individual.

Anyway, the infamous Talullah rocks up, and seems to be bothered by the fact that we’d like a table. We are told there’s a 15 minute wait… doesn’t seem too bad so we stick around.

This gives me time to scope out the place. It oozes trendiness. Loose light globes illuminate the white brick walls, there’s lots of trees shrubbery. It’s actually been designed really well. It’s open, full of light, and although there’s lots happening with the greenery, it’s not overdone.

As we wait, I notice the café has a lot more interest in being trendy than efficient. For instance, I noticed 2 tables which were waiting to be cleared – it took the staff about 10 minutes to get around to doing it even though there was a line. What were they doing? Filling up water jugs. The water is sparkling and on tap which is lovely and everything, but it took 20 seconds to fill every single jug of water (yes I counted, there wasn’t much to do). The staff spent half their time literally standing there waiting for it to fill.

This doesn’t seem to bother the staff though. They have all the time in the world. They’re more concerned about hitching up their jeans to make sure their patterned socks are showing.

15 minutes later we check in with Talullah to see how that table is coming along. She seems surprised that we aren’t jumping for joy when she says it’s going to be another 10 minutes… but I can see tables clearing and a spare 4 seats which is odd. A few minutes later she says we can sit at one of them. I have no doubt she knew they were available but just felt like showing us how much power she had.

I shouldn’t say that. Sometimes I forget how damn cool hipsters are and that they’re a higher status than everyone else, I really should respect that.

We sit down and concede that the coffee is great. The water which I had been gleefully mocking for 15 minutes was actually beautiful and refreshing – you win this round Dennis.

There’s a thoughtful menu which I appreciate, and they’ve gone the extra mile to make the classic smashed avo a bit more special. The tomato was a really nice addition, but it added acidity, which wasn’t balanced out with the avo and feta.

Kara was bit ticked off at the size of her meal – when you pay $20 for breakfast you expect something a bit more substantial. I get the whole masterchef thing – fancy meals come out small and usually that’s what I like but I don’t think the same can be said for brunch.

However, the elements were quite nice. Well, until she choked. There were three bones in her trout. The waiter was pleasant and took away her meal straight away… but then never came back. He just kept serving other tables and didn’t bother telling us how they intended to resolve it.

This is what happens when you hire staff based on the quality of their man-bun rather than hospitality experience.

Anyway the manager comes out (after Kara has had to get out of her seat to follow up (twice)) he’s pleasant and it’s resolved.

I understand they’re still quite new, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The coffee was divine, food generally quite good and I certainly appreciate free fizzy water. And hey, if you have mastered the art of deliberately looking undeliberately trendy, it’s the kind of place you’ll love. I’d say just give them a few more weeks to find their feet then go along to check it out.

*Her name wasn’t really Talullah. I’m not mean enough to write her actual name so I just typed “hipster names” into google and chose something at random.

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