Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Good vibes and greater lattes at The Tamper Trap

THE TAMPER TRAP café /  The hospo revival.

'Anne! What's on for the day?' - TTT's captain, Kai, beckons to another middle-aged female Brightonite as he pumps out what's probably the 400th hot bev of the morning.
An ethos can oft become lost somewhere in activated charcoal buns or fluoro panacotta or unicorn tears that continue to proliferate Melbourne's competitive café court. When the stakes are high, and the insta-influencers are banging down doors with an insatiable appetite for something NEW, it's an inevitable shame that good hospo behaviour, banter and brunchmanship are abandoned. That's why my trip to The Tamper Trap came as an espresso shot of restorative faith in the exercise of geniality. A crux of honesty, conversation and local charm is palpable here. And as a bonus, the hotcakes are fab.

At 181 Bay St, Brighton, TTT finds a niche on the otherwise quite coff-deprived strip. I'd know, because after many ENT visits on Bay, I've been left wandering in a downpour for the perfect pour, stumbling upon a few mirages of bars and bakeries but not finding the caffeine fix I so desperately pined for.

The brew is actually sensational here. 

The interiors also tick a slew of boxes. You've got the back wall panelled with a peacock blue, velvet strip of seating, shrouded by intense greenery and lit by a banner of pendant bulbs. Blonde timber tables scatter the slate grey floors, with an industrial workspace at the core. Picture sprawled newspapers, laptops, capps and plates in what may very well be your newest local (intensely groovier) supplement for a Brighton library sesh.

The dishes I trialled ran from a smashed avo (because every time I pump myself up to order something different, I defiantly cave at crunch time), a ricotta hotcakes iteration and an açai bowl. They're 3 of the most cliché, overkilled dishes in just about every Bayside eatery. While it's not an exercise in originality or diversity, they've got them right. It's a 'does what it says on the tin' kinda scenario. And sometimes, that's exactly what you want. The avo is doused in dukkah, and mine beefed up with a helping of mushrooms on the side. The ricotta hotcakes have a moat of rhubarb and strawbs, with an insanely good chocolate mousse elevating the guilt levels but prompting many drool emoji faces.

You're getting decent bang for your buck, and can rely on the classics to get you from hangry to happy in a few bites. Hospitality has been awoken here, with the boys behind the coffee island generating chitchat and friendly flanter with regulars and newcomers alike. Big.fat.tick.

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