1000 £ Bend

Posted on July 13, 2011


It’s winter, I’ve been hibernating and as such, have not ventured out nearly as much as I’d like. But I did manage to find time for a spot of brunch the very funky looking 1000 £ Bend Cafe (361 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC). This place has caught my eye a number of times when I’m wandering through the city, but for one reason or the other always forgot about it when I actually needed to eat. And to be completely honest, my recent visit there was largely because a table at the nearby and very popular Hardware Soceite would have required a 30 minute wait. It all worked out well though for I finally remembered that I had pegged 1000 £ Bend to try!

The building itself is a mixed used space. Cafe, art studio and sometimes bargain basement clothes shopping. Decor wise it’s very retro and has a grungy feel. It looks like a warehouse both inside and out, the exterior even has its own lashings of street art to complete the look. 1970s style furniture, random decorative features and old school board games to turn your attention to. How funky and so not your usual Melbourne CBD haunt, almost feels like you’re in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy! I like that.

Coffees are priced at $3.20, but if you can make it in between 8am – 10am on Monday to Friday then it’s a steal at $2.50. The food menu (I believe this isn’t a fixed menu) is pretty basic, but it does the job. As a cheap option, for $5 you can get a breakfast toastie with 3 fillings. My companion opted for ham, baked beans and egg. A filling if somewhat messy combination.

I ordered the more substantial spiced chicken salad with spinach, cheese, roast pumpkin, dukka and pinenuts ($13.50 if I recall correctly). This was a pretty tasty mix of flavours but I found it odd that they left the skin on the pumpkin. It’s not particularly edible and a bit annoying needing to remove it yourself. Also, the cheese made the dish feel a tad too dry. This minor error could have been easily avoided with a little drizzle of oil/dressing, but for some reason wasn’t. So despite being generally likable dish, there was room for improvement in execution.

A browse through some reviews reveal that this venue is definitely not for everyone and the service seems mixed. Luckily we didn’t have any problems with service on the day, they were friendly enough and coffee/food was delivered in a timely manner. No real complaints from us, but then again it doesn’t rank highly enough for repeat visits.