85 High Street
Northcote VIC 3070
+61 3 9481 7623
I like the name Barry. It’s not too generic and it’s not the sort of name a creep Uncle would have (that would be Bob). It’s cute and it’s endearing. That said, I’d probably never date a guy called Barry – do you know anyone under 50 called Barry? I didn’t think so.
But I’d definitely go to a café called Barry.
The DDR crew (as in, Daisy, Dave and Ricky – and myself) decided to have brunch at Barry one afternoon. I had just hopped off a plane (probably from the Gold Coast or somewhere ridiculous) and was starving – and in dire need of caffeine. I couldn’t wait to get inside Barry.
If you’re an Eastsider who relies on public transport like me, then Barry would be a bit of a pain in the arse to get to. The location itself is fine – it’s situated on High Street and it’s not too far from the train station – but having to take a bus and a train can be a hassle for some. It is, however, all worth it when you step into Barry’s warm and sunny space and catch a whiff of their house blend (by 5 Senses) brewing.
I love my milk coffees so I had a latte. The house blend is 50% Brazilian, 30% Costa Rican, 20% Ethiopian, thus making the brew big on the floral aromas with huge waves of chocolate mixed through. Although my latte wasn’t bad, this was a coffee that’s better off drunk as a black.
Daisy had one of their specials, their bubble and squeak with a side of bacon. I didn’t have any but she reckons it was just okay and nowhere near as good as the ones they dish out at Red Cup Café in Box Hill.
Both Dave and Ricky had the eggs benny. I don’t go out of my way to order ‘standard brunch’ offerings but even I had to admit that Barry’s version looked impressive. Each element was given a little something else – hollandaise infused with apple cider and ham hock being braised so that it was gorgeously tender – to make the whole thing really pop.
After a weekend being a glutton on the Gold Coast, I decided to have something healthy. Luckily, Barry’s menu is full of wonderful healthy options though I do think their Californian superfood salad sounds kinda wanky. (tri-coloured quinoa, shredded kale, wild organic rice, charred corn, salted ricotta, black turtle beans, heirloom tomatoes, jalapeños, goji and spicy lime vinaigrette – OH, C’MON! YOU BETTER BE TAKING THE PISS!)
My dish still had bits of wank in it (not like that, you sicko) but hello, like I could ever go past gin-cured (or anything-cured) ocean trout! It was a light yet filling salad with lots of beautiful textures and flavours. I especially loved those random bursts of sweetness from the pomegranate seeds.
And of course, dining with Daisy always means not skipping dessert so we had a bit of her banana and coconut cake to share. I don’t order banana breads/cakes because it’s something that I can easily make at home but I did like this one – it wasn’t too sweet and the cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut pieces made it a bit more exciting to eat.
We all thought our brunch at Barry’s was great. Despite the busy mid-week brunch rush (damn, do these people work? Oh wait, why were we there…), the service was quick and efficient and the food was just as sunny and pleasant (except for Daisy’s bubble and squeak perhaps) as the café itself. Although I very rarely go to Northcote, Barry is a café that I can definitely see myself coming back to if I’m in the area. Or if I have a car*.
*I will have a car soon!