Friday, November 11, 2011

Naked Espresso Bar

Naked Espresso sits just past the pedestrian traffic heavy Hardware Lane, filled with it's little Italian digs and cafes.

It's a refreshing breath of air in the ever busy city and you are instantly transported somewhere else when you step in. There's a familiarity about the place, and the people are friendly, you feel like you're in your neighbourhood cafe in the suburbs, rather than in the heart of the city.

Naked Espresso's decked out in a cheery shade of sunshine, which is my favourite colour, and completely opens up the space.

I had come for the chai latte, for at Naked Espresso, they make their own personalized blend, with spices and tea...which they had unfortunately run out of. Bummer. Will admit to be slightly crushed, but never the mind!

So a bonsoy hot chocolate it was instead.

And what a pleasant experience it was. Sitting in the back of the tiny cafe, current fantasy book flipped open, in the gentle diffused light of the afternoon, the hot chocolate was the perfect companion. Not too sweet, lovingly chocolatey and not too rich. The milk was as smooth as silk and it all blended together very nicely.

There's not many places where I'll order two milky hot drinks at. Precious stomach space and what not! But I did here.

As people came and left, a constant stream of comments of "Great coffees as always guys", "the flat white was fantastic", all resonated with how I felt about my drink. Plus it's always a good sign to see regulars, who flatter on top of that!

As my friend who I was supposed to meet and exchange duty free cigarettes for money (I'm not the smoker!) with was running a bit late, as the menu lingered on my table, I couldn't resist trying out their Tabasco Baked Eggs. Free range eggs with tabasco beans, cheese and baby spinach, served with a slice of sourdough toast, this ended up being a bit richer than I expected. Although this is a good thing. How can you fail with melted cheese bubbling away as the dish slides on to your table?!

The cheese was stringy and hot, the eggs I had to blow at to cool down, as the steam rose from it. The tabasco beans although not eye-watering hot, as the name might imply, were hearty and wholesome. This would be what you want to eat in winter, although it was perfectly fine in the fairly comfortable and cool weather of Spring as well.

Their lunch offering also entails a variety of rather intriguing sounding sandwiches, which are displayed in the fridge, and black forest waffles. The name just says it all. If only I wasn't gluten intolerant...!

So have I been back for that chai latte? Not yet, but I'm absolutely hanging out for it!

390 Little Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC

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