Veneziano Coffee Richmond
Looks like the secret’s out. When we rock up at Veneziano’s new roastery cafe, there’s already a hungry hoard inside. Waiters are zipping everywhere, and people are ploughing through French toast and Kenya roast like their lives depended on it.
Not bad for a backstreet factory that’s been open about two weeks.
Veneziano has been roasting out of this red brick warehouse since 2014 (the brand’s been doing the specialty coffee thing since 2000) but this is the first time they’ve thrown open the factory doors, Wonka-style, and invited people in for breakfast.
“We’ve been surprised by the turnout, to be honest” says venue manager, Michael Almagor. “We opened the doors and wondered if anyone would show, but it’s been huge.”
The space is amazing, too. Sky-high ceilings, potted trees and greenery everywhere, a two-tone palette of midnight blue and honeyed beach wood. The closest equivalent is probably Industry Beans in Fitzroy. You walk through, past the training studio and Cupping Lab (where Veneziano runs regular coffee classes) and—BAM. Giant, bustling warehouse cafe slash airport hanger.
You can tell the menu’s been designed to please the crowds. Head Chef KaiKai Yan has worked at Dinner By Heston and Union Dining, but he’s dialled down the zany here.
There’s a smashing chilli scramble, spiked with chorizo crumb, burnt sage and a fk-tonne of spice (prepare for head sweats), a smashed av’ with confit cherry tomatoes, hazelnut dukkha and fresh mint, and other staples like French Toast, brekky burgers, and green bowls. Nothing you haven’t seen before, but everything’s reliably delicious—the Toyota of menus.
As you’d expect, the coffee is top notch. At the moment the guys are pouring Veneziano’s signature Bond St blend, plus a rotating selection of microlots. Best bet is just to ask your waiter what’s interesting, close your eyes and go nuts.
Oh yeah, one more thing: don’t plug ‘Veneziano’ into Google maps and follow it blindly. It’ll take you up past Victoria St somewhere (live and learn, right?).
Image credit: Mel Desa