Melbourne is renowned for its cafe culture and with so much competition, it’s not hard to find a spectacular dining experience nearby. So when you have got so many wonderful choices on offer, what sets one cafe apart from the next?
Yes you can have amazing food, coffee and even location but if you have crap service, chances are you are going to hear about it!
We are passionate about praising great customer service at The Melbourne Diaries because it takes your dining experience from great to memorable and that’s what happened at District North.
Upon arriving to this vibrant little café for brunch in Moonee Ponds on the weekend, we were rather early for our booking and the owner Andrew asked if we would be able to wait near the chalkboard as he arranged our table for us.
The chalkboard wall was a great distraction for the little people amongst the group and kept them happy for the time we were waiting. The manager checked on us throughout our wait and kept us informed of when our table was ready, which was just in time for our booking anyway!
Once seated, we were immediately seen to by a waitress, water dropped to the table (hallelujah) and drink orders taken. The almond milk cappuccino was delicious. A lovely smooth coffee bean, and the best almond milk ever!
The menu featured a good amount of options without going overboard. We liked that the menu items weren’t exactly the typical brunch dishes you would see at most cafes. District North had designed a menu that was unique to them with some of the favourites with a twist.
We went on recommendations from the owner and tried out the District Standard (pumpkin puree, roasted field mushrooms, trussed cherry tomato, maple glazed bacon, chick pea falafel, poached eggs, crumbled feta and toasted pide) , the Breakky Gnocchi (served with forest mushroom ragu, semolina gnocchi, grana pad, thyme, mascarpone cream, goats cheese croquettes and a poached egg) , the Breakfast Bowl (cauliflower textures, pumpkin puree, brown rice,field mushroom, kale, tahini yoghurt, pickled red cabbage & fresh avocado) and poached eggs with a side of avocado mousse and bacon.
We also couldn’t look past the King Nutella Malteser District Donut Shake ($12.50).
The wait for food wasn’t too long and the presentation of the meals was lovely. Even the basic poached eggs with a side of avocado and bacon looked amazing and we loved the effort they had gone to.
Standout dishes were the District Standard that was the cafe’s take on a big breakfast. It was presented beautifully and the unlikely addition of pumpkin puree worked really well with the other flavours on the plate. The toasted pide was also a favourite as it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and we could have had a whole plate of it.
The other standout was the Brekky Gnocchi which again was presented beautifully and the flavours were exquisite. The gnocchi was lovely and light and the flavours of the ragu were divine and really made the dish extra special. When you combined a bit of everything on the plate, it was heaven in a bite.
The King Nutella Malteser shake looked fantastic and very Instagram worthy! We would have to say the only let down was the nutella donut, which was quite dry. Otherwise the milkshake fulfilled our cravings for a sweet treat following brunch.
Aside from the great food and coffee was a lovely vibrant atmosphere. At a busy time of day it can get noisy but the tables are spaced out nicely so you don’t feel like you’re crammed up next to others. The cafe is kid-friendly and offers plenty of highchairs as well as a ramp entry making it easily accessibly for prams.The interior is bright and inviting and the decor is trendy. However, as stated earlier the highlight of our visit to District North was the service and all the staff there mirror the same great service values. You could sense the passion in the owner Andrew as he talked about the menu and greeted everyone at the door. Our water was constantly topped up throughout our time there and we were checked on several times to make sure we were happy with everything, which we were. There was even a heater to keep us nice and toasty because it was an awful windy day outside. We hope that others start to take on the same values that District North have when it comes to providing great customer service because it will do wonders for business.
We can’t wait for our return and to try our more on the menu.
What: District North
Where: 678-680 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
When: Open 7 days
7.30am till 4pm Monday – Saturday
8.30am – 4pm Sunday