MART or “TRAM” (with the “R” other way round if placed on the side of a mirror)…that’s the name of this wonderful and well tucked away little cafe in Middle Park, 4km south of Melbourne CBD on Tram Stop 130. Hence, the eccentric name of this rustic and quaint cafe in the leafy suburb called MART 130 Cafe.
We happened to come across this cafe a couple of weeks ago when I decided that my partner and I should take Tram 96 to St Kilda Beach for an alternate route to our usual Tram 112 at a tram stop in Clarendon Street Southbank, a short 10 minutes walk from our place. It was a good decision. Otherwise we would not have found this popular cafe.
So this morning we were wondering where to go for brunch. Our usual fare is a bowl of Vietnamese Pho at Footscray or Yum Cha at Docklands on a Sunday. I suggested that we try something different, which is a rare occasion as we prefer Asian brunch to a Western brunch. It was a good decision, as we both thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the cafe, and food that we are happy to pay for.
It has a nostalgic feel to the place. A destination that we can get off the tram right at the door step of the cafe – it’s almost too good to be true like in a movie set. It is a choice of destination for any food lover who enjoy a good breakfast, brunch or lunch. The experience of having the tram railway track on one side of the building and the other side fronting a park surrounded by trees and shrubs with people walking their dogs has just the right ambience to calm any weary and hungry souls with a wholesome good food and friendly service.When we arrived at tram stop 130, the cafe was busy with people waiting outside. But we were lucky to get 2 seats at the back section of the cafe overlooking the park. It is ideal as I think it will be noisy inside the cafe but interesting to watch the staff in actions. The front part of the cafe next to the tram tracks will be nice on a quiet time. But, I think the premium seats have to be in the back where we were.
We ordered an organic large orange juice ($5) and a pot of ceylon tea ($3.50) for drink, and baked braised of chorizo with poached eggs ($18.50) and bacon, potato and spinach with hollandaise poached eggs ($18.50) for food.
The ceylon tea came in an old rustic pale white with blue trimmed enamel tea pot, adding to the rustic charm of this tram station cafe. The food was very good. The eggs were perfectly poached – smooth and round, firm yet soft and the yolk was soft and not runny on the braised chorizo in tomato sauce spiced with grounded paprika and melted cheese. It was a real hearty meal. This is a meal that is worth paying for. Paid $50 with a small change of $4.20. It is more expansive than our usual fare of Sunday Asian brunch, but we both left feeling very satisfied and happy that we will definitely return again. After all, it is only a few tram stops from where we live. A track reserved only for Tram 96.Our tram has arrived. Time to hop on and touch on the Myki card for a $3.50 whole day fare on a weekend, which will increase to $6 starting next year 2014.