You could blink and miss Monroe. The signage on Bridge Rd is pretty demure, sandwiched between a bunch of fashion clearance outlets. But there’s no misunderstanding once you’re inside—this place is a kick-ass, matt black uber-luxe coffee house...with a side of pastels.
Monroe is the latest project from Melbourne’s Moussi sisters (Monique, Tash and Michelle). They’re the power team behind 30 Mill Espresso in Malvern and Trilium in South Melbourne (taking over the city, one strong latte at a time).
The experience shows. Monroe has a pretty stunning fit-out. Rippling dark marble on all the countertops. Copper and rose gold highlights, brushed concrete and a long mirror wall that runs the length of the venue. It’d seem cold without the pops of pastel pink and the greenery everywhere. And the huge smile of Beatrice Roy, the French-Canadian venue manager.
On to the food. Monroe has your 2018 brunch stalwarts. The avo and feta smash with beetroot puree, a brioche egg n’ bacon roll with chutney, and a maqui smoothie bowl with fresh fruit and pumpkin seeds.
But it’s the banana roti that’s got us excited: a Richmond cult classic made from crispy pan-fried roti, gooey bananas, biscuit crumb and strawberries. This thing is one of the best breakfasts we’ve eaten all year.
Round out your brunch with a house blend roast, or maybe a Proud Mary single origin from Guatemala. They’re also slinging a batch brew and cold drip, if the standard latte isn’t quite hitting the spot.
All in all an epic addition to the Richmond brunch scene. If you live anywhere near Bridge Rd, add this to the Sunday hit list.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White