328 Swanston St
03 8660 5700
Located between the State Library and RMIT, Mr Tulk is frequented by students who have enough time in the morning to dress creatively. I am always charmed by the people watching at this cafe with its alternative version of posh. The artistic illustrations on the wall are reflected on the paper coffee cups – a nice touch and easy talking point.
Keeping with the theme, the coffee is up to the proud Melbourne standards. The food is well thought out, although expensive and small in serving size. If I were still a student, I would enjoy sitting out the front in the sun, with my best friend, spending hours discussing the state of world affairs and feminism over a strong latte.
These days I am refined to a quick take-away or snack. My work colleagues, who perhaps feel the same longing for creative youth and free time, suggested Mr Tulk for lunch the other day. We had to wait a little while for a table and sat on the bench seats while waiting for one to become available.
For those who have the luxury of sleeping-in, breakfast is served till late in the day. My friend ordered the fried eggs with fetta and crispy shallots, and gave me a taste. The flavours came together well and the presentation was attractive, but I am sure my friend was still hungry after finishing her meal.
I ordered the gnocchi with tomato sugo and ricotta. The texture of the gnocchi was granular, like uncooked mashed potato. The flavours of the sauce and ricotta were subtle but agreeable.
In the past, I have enjoyed Mr Tulk’s pumpkin, caramelised onion and ricotta flat breads.
The food is not bad, the coffee is better, but a visit to Mr Tulk is really made by the atmosphere.