Small Victories is a cafe / restaurant that is located is the leafy streets of North Carlton in Rathdowne Street. It is an eat’n’drinkery opened by chef Alric Hansen and Ben Farrant that operates as a cafe by day and a restaurant at night. The space is small but has an long marble counter at the front which serves drinks and coffees, and houses a selection of impressive vinyl records. The music played whilst dining here are played on a turntable adding to the fun.
There are many different cosy areas where you can dine – from the tables outside to enjoy the sunshine, to inside where there are timber tables as well as communal tables (also for the larger crowds). There are stools along the marble countertop or seats along the window to enjoy the scenery that Rathdowne street has to offer. There is also an upstairs dining area with a mini skylight / atrium area.
The decor is vintage and modern all at the same time, and my favourite feature of the restaurant was the skylight which streamed in natural light right above our table, as well as the naked light bulb with a groovy filament on the inside. I am really starting to love these lightbulbs (if only it would suit my house!). The walls are white and feature not much artwork which create a modern feel.
Small Victories offers a great menu variety which ranges from simple eggs with sides, baked eggs to sweeter offerings including yoghurt, muesli and fruit toast. There are also organic, vegetarian and gluten free options available. The dishes can be best described as Modern Australian dishes with imagination, flair and glam! The combination of their dishes are like no other and from the dishes that I tried, really do work. Lunches consists of a selection of Sandwiches – which are not your ordinary types of sandwiches – for example there is an Advieh Spied Poon Boon Lamb, Organic Labne, Pickled Cucumber and Herbs sandwich – sounds interesting right? There are also a selection of such as pasta, steak or veggie dishes.
My friends and I arrived for breakfast and started off with coffees – I had a latte – which was amazing. The beans are sourced from Wide Open Road blends and have nutty and creamy tastes too it, yet still strong. I also ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice whilst I waited for my breakfast. My friend ordered the Small Victories Mixed Grill; Fried Egg, Breakfast Sausage, Black Pudding, Croquette, Streaky Bacon, Baked Beans, and I ordered the Veggie Baked Eggs. Both dishes came out at the same time and were very impressive looking. My friends Mixed Grill came in a terracotta pot with a slice of bread on the side, as did my Baked Eggs. I love how the butter was placed on the toasty warm bread – which allowed the butter to be spreadable and perfect. I thought this was a great idea and haven’t seen it in any other cafes’ so far.
My Baked Eggs dish was scrumptious and consisted of eggs, tomato, potato with onions and topped with a hollandaise sauce. The sauce that the veggies were baked in was flavoursome and had a bit of spice to it. The veggies had a bit of crunch to them and the hollandaise was just perfect in every way. The combination made for a very good and filling dish – it did take me longer than normal to finish this dish. My friend enjoyed her mixed grill and due to the sheer size took a good while to finish the dish as well.
As we were there for quite some time and I felt like something sweet we decided to order the Melon, Mango, Lime & Ginger Sago, Passionfruit, Basil Seed, Puffed Brown Rice, Candied Coconut dish. This is a really great summer dish to eat, and it was a very hot day in Melbourne (37 degrees!!!), it really hit the spot! The combination of the fruits together with the sago and basil seeds were great. There was the crunch and hardness of the fruits against the softness and gooeyness of the sago and the basil seeds. The puffed rice I wasn’t a huge fan of but my friend loved this addition, and said it brought the whole dish together. I would definitely recommend this dish (even if its not a 37 degree day).
One let down of this place was the waitress that we had – she never once smiled and was a bit rude when we wanted to order extra drinks or dishes. On the plus side when the owners served us, he was fantastic and friendly.
This place is a must try for all in and around the area as well from afar. It is a great little place to try out and spend a whole morning – the menu certainly has a dish for everyone. It will be interesting to come back at dinner time and check out the dishes then as well as experiencing Small Victories as a bar.
Rating : 4 Pandas
Menu – Breakfast (
), Lunch (
) and Dinner (
and Bar (
Atmosphere / Ambience: Vintage yet Modern, comfortable and cosy – you can spend hours just chatting away.
Standout Dish: Melon, Mango, Lime & Ginger Sago, Passionfruit, Basil Seed, Puffed Brown Rice, Candied Coconut dish
Service: So-So – we might have gone on an off day – the waitress was unfriendly, however the owner made up for it and was super friendly.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
617 Rathdowne St,
Tel No: 9347 4064
Tuesday: 8am to 4pm
Wednesday: 8am to 10:30pm
Thursday – Saturday: 8am to 10:30pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm