Great food, fantastic coffee and top drawer service, Ten Square Café offers no-frills exquisite café dining experience Melbourne is renowned for.
The newest addition to the ever-bustling hardware lane, Ten Square Café opened its doors early in June to the delight of Melbourne’s brunch lovers. A minimalist signage marks the café’s entrance, with an accompanying signboard of filter, pour over and single origin coffee available. Outside the café, pearly squares of streaked marble tables accompanied by cushioned chairs offer al fresco seating for the guests.
Entering the café in earnest, visitors are greeted by the coffee and patisserie bar, perfect for those looking for a quick pick me up and a treat to go. Opposite the coffee bar is the open kitchen, where dine-in guests can watch their food being prepared by the café’s culinary team. Ten Square Café favours a minimalist approach to its interior, with smooth white walls, naked hanging bulbs, industrial metal racks and pale alabaster timber furniture.
The latest brainchild by the team behind One Square Espresso Bar, the new venue offers great coffee (courtesy of Dukes Coffee Roasters) paired with a rotating line-up of menu items which changes on a bi-weekly basis. Local and seasonal ingredients take centre stage, with fresh fruits, produce and local artisan suppliers gracing the menu. Expect heirloom tomatoes, exquisite micro-roasted coffee and quality local dairy skilfully utilised in the café’s offerings.
The café’s food program is headed by Marco, a veteran of fine dining establishments across Brazil and Melbourne, and Patrick, a brunch maestro with stints in Melbourne’s hottest cafés and brunch spots. Under the tutelage of the duo, every dish at Ten Square Café is executed to perfection, with each component obsessively hand-made from scratch (nachos, cornbread, syrup, sauces, you name it).
For first timers, the miso charred mackerel is the dish to go for. The mackerel is exquisitely charred and delightfully briny. The fish is accompanied by meaty soy-dressed shiitake mushrooms, lightly sautéed orange and purple carrots, piquant and punchy turnips topped with sweet and mellow grilled spring onion.
A recent addition to the café menu is the square eggs. Dig into the cassoulet of baked eggs to find sweet caramelised onions, tangy and herby Cottechino sausage chunks, and delightfully salty Kaiserfleisch ham. Topped with lovely toasted almond slivers, truffle oil and served with toasted sourdough to soak up the hearty gravy.
For dessert, the date hotcakes is not to be missed. The hotcakes are pillowy on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. Paired beautifully with hazelnut banana crumbs which offer lovely crunch and texture, citrusy and refreshing kumquat curd, and a decadent toffee-like butterscotch sauce. Slivers and cubes of house-pickled pear tie up the stellar dessert.
Ten Square Café
120 Hardware Street, Melbourne CBD
T: (+61) 03 967 065 22
Prices $$ (fair)
Cuisine Brunch meets fine dining
Verdict Our to-eat list for the next visit includes chilli + scramble eggs, braised mushrooms and 48-hour sous vide glazed beef cheek.