Tucked away in the Woodlea Estate of Rockbank is a true example of Melbourne’s hidden gems and one of the best places to brunch so far out of Melbourne.
You could be forgiven for not knowing about Go West Eatery & Tuckshop because it’s not in what you would consider a well-established area so it’s up to us to share the word. Situated amongst the display village of a new estate, this adorable little cafe is the perfect spot for brunch and has so many good things going for it that we will list them all for you.
Firstly, the interior.
Go West has a modern yet rustic feel about it with gorgeous big shelves filled with bowls of fruit as well as household supplies hence the “tuckshop” in the name. Things like jams, bags of pasta, olive oil and mustard are available for purchase. It’s bright and clean and offers a lot of natural light from windows, which is always a plus. The white marble works really well with the wooden decor and the display cabinet is filled with delectable treats including homemade musk sticks and fresh muffins that you will have to resist as you pay the bill. They also offer a cute courtyard outside for those summer days and for the kids to run around whilst you enjoy your coffee.
Secondly, the service.
Water was dropped to our table instantly. Hallelujah! The first point of great service is water without being asked. We were seen to and seated immediately and the waitresses were friendly and interacted really well with the children. However, they didn’t point us or tell us about the daily specials, which then means the customers are usually unaware of them until spotting them on a board later on. They did check on our meals and were prompt in serving and clearing away. There was a slight muck up with our order but the staff were quick to fix it.
Thirdly, the food.
For some reason, this cafe does not have high reviews online and many people have a different experience but the food at our table was fantastic. We ordered the ham & cheese croissant from the kids menu ($8.90), the half serve of toast with jam ($4.90), the Red Velvet Pancake ($15.90) and the Veggie Larder ($20.90) . For drinks we ordered the Shiney Happy protein smoothie ($8.90) and coffee.
On the Veggie Larder the eggs were poached perfectly, the corn fritters were crispy on the outside, the mushrooms delicious and the avocado mash was as good as it should be. There was also a serving of toast underneath it all, which probably wasn’t needed but was gobbled anyway. The presentation was also superb with a beautiful simplicity of ingredients, plenty of vibrant colour and enough going on the plate to think WOW! without going overboard.
The presentation of the Red Velvet Pancake was also outstanding and the pops of colour everywhere made it look almost too pretty to eat. We tend to eat with our eyes and this one is sure to get people’s attention. The pancake itself was light and fluffy. The vanilla cream was light and the perfect accompaniment although it could have done with a bit more. The berries were fresh and there was a great variety. The addition of crunchy oats and nuts was a welcomed one and although the greenery added to the colour, it didn’t work too well with the sweetness of the dish. Overall a really beautiful dish and when it looks like that, you can’t complain.
The croissant offered a generous amount of ham and plenty of melted cheese and nothing was left on the plate. We also loved the adorable jam pots that came with the serving of toast.
The Shiney Happy protein smoothie combined mango, banana, passionfruit, protein powder and almond milk for that healthy boost you need for the day and taste delicious. It was a hit with the adults and the children. Go West also have a range of healthy brunch dishes including the Breakfast Super Salad, which we will be back to try.
Aside from the food, a huge draw-card for Go West is having a giant playground directly across the road and an awesome playground at that. It offers a flying fox, trampolines, a mammoth slide and plenty of other little things to do. The kids will go crazy for it and it’s great bribery for them to sit quietly through brunch! Or you could grab a takeaway coffee and a treat and head over straight away.
Now, here a few minor things that could be improved.
The milk was a little bit too bubbly and should have been a lot smoother. The almond milk was great! Also, the price for a large almond milk cappuccino was $6! A lot more expensive than most places for the same coffee.
A lot of the complaints in the reviews were about price and Go West prices are slightly higher to many other cafes around Melbourne when you’re comparing the popular smashed avo. However, the quality and generous servings of food is worth the price you pay and some things on the menu are well-priced whilst others are a little expensive. If they brought their prices down a little to be on par with a lot of other cafes they would be well-near perfect! Just be mindful that they do not swap out menu items, nor do they offer split bills on weekends or public holidays.
Overall, Go West Eatery & Tuckshop has so much going for it that it deserves to be talked about and visited more. The minor things that could be improved are just that, minor. Otherwise the service, food, location were all fantastic and it is a welcome addition to the Western suburbs. Plus, when you have kids it is a no-brainer!
What: Go West Eatery & Tuckshop
Where: 27 Woodlea Boulevard, Rockbank
When: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm.