Musk Cafe and Bar is located in the recently(ish) developed area near the train station, at the base of one of the apartment buildings. It doesn’t have obvious signage outside, but the tables and chairs outside indicated that this wasn’t just an office or retail shop.
They have an eclectic mix of furniture, with some of the table and chair sets being at regular height, and some at bar height. This included a Chesterfield set, fitting with the bar style decor. There were a few tables inside, but most of the seating was in a covered outdoor area.
As we approached the service counter, we were told by staff that we could sit anywhere we liked, but to come back to the counter to order. We picked up menus for the counter, and surveyed our options.
House music played over the speakers, and though there were a couple of tables available indoors, they were close to the speakers. We looked for a table outside instead. The cluster of apartments created a wind tunnel effect, so it was quite chilly despite us trying to find an area out of the wind. Slivers of sunlight came through, and we picked a table that caught some sun, but it still wasn’t quite warm enough.
The menu is printed on a laminated A4 sheet, with food items on one side, and drinks on the other. We had pretty much already decided on the Volcanic Eggs, having seen some pictures of the dish, but weren’t really drawn to other items on the menu. We initially ordered 2 of the Volcanic Eggs, but after placing our orders, were subsequently informed that they had only 1 croissant left. Deciding against having the dish with sourdough toast instead, and scanning down the other dishes on the menu with the thumbs up beside them (presumably indicating extra approved deliciousness), we opted for the Not-So-Corny Unicorn dish.
Their coffees are done on Industry Beans blends. The flat white had well-textured foam, and was a good strength. It carried berry notes.
The soy iced latte also had the high fruity berry notes, as we have found Melbourne coffees to tend towards.
The Volcanic Eggs were listed in the menu as having chilli scrambled eggs, spicy chorizo, sliced avocado, and sriracha mayonnaise on an authentic French croissant. The presentation was colourful, with garnishes of bright carrot and capsicum curls, and a flower. We were also quite taken with the appearance of the croissant, with lofty layers and a bronze sheen. It was even more impressive than those from claimed croissant makers like Superthing and Darvella Patisserie.
The croissant also delivered in the eating, a buttery and flaky delight. The scrambled egg was lightly folded. It was not itself seasoned, perhaps so as not to compete with the other flavours. There were cubes of chorizo scattered on the plate, delivering a potent heat as promised. Pleasingly, they were not overcooked. The sriracha hollandaise provided another creamy element to tie the other components together. It too had some fire, as well as a little tart tanginess. The dish was well named as Volcanic, and though not overwhelmingly ferocious, those who can’t handle spicy food perhaps should think twice about attempting this.
The Not-So-Corny Uni-Corn dish was described as corn and zucchini fritter balls, miso buttered corn ribs, two poached eggs, fresh cucumber, and sriracha mayonnaise. This was presented with negative space plating, the fritter balls, eggs, and corn ribs forming a crescent around the side of the plate. We had been curious to find out what corn ribs were. While they certainly looked interesting on the plate, they were a little difficult to eat. We had to cut the corn kernals off the rib to get to them. The alternative would probably have been to eat them with your hands, like you might pork ribs (which is likely where they got that name).
The fritters were almost cake-like, fluffy and springy on the inside. We would have liked them to be crisper on the outside though. They had a curry-like flavour to them, so weren’t just bland dough-balls. The eggs had runny yolks.
If you’re in the Milton area and looking for breakfast or brunch that is a little different, Musk Cafe and Bar is worth checking out. Of the dishes we had, the Volcanic Eggs was definitely the more flavourful, and as people with exacting standards for croissants, we approved of the croissant in that dish. They can also plate beautifully, if you too believe that you eat with your eyes first. Be prepared with a warm jacket or coat though, as it is a windy area.
Price point: Food items $13.90 to $24.90 for more than toast and spreads. Our dishes $21.90 and $18.90 respectively.
Address: 6 Manning St, Milton
Phone: 0416 758 819
Website: Musk Cafe and Bar