“Hey Azzie. I’m in your hood,” Haz messaged me one day. “We’re going to Fifty-six threads.”
“Where? Are you buying sewing supplies?” was my response.
She told me it was a social enterprise venture that had launched at the end of last year by AMES – an organisation that helps new and recently arrived migrants and refugees to settle in Victoria. The main aim of the cafe is to provide employment and training for new migrants who want to work in the hospitality industry.
I was a bit confused by Haz’s message, because I hadn’t seen any new cafes pop up in the area. It turned out that Fifty-six Threads is located away from the main Kensington Village shopping strip, at the end of Derby Street under the housing commission tower. It’s been fitted out really well with an open kitchen and lots of wood grained and angled geometric surfaces, extending to the tables and suspended light fittings.
On my first visit, I went for a breakfast that had poached eggs, smoked salmon, spinach, avocado and sourdough toast ($14). This was meant to come with hollandaise sauce but it was replaced with tomato relish as they were out that day. One of my eggs was perfect while the other was slightly over-poached. It was no big deal – the rest of my breakfast was fine.
Alastair had the Shakshuka ($13) – baked eggs in a rich and spicy tomato and capscium sauce with toast. He loved his breakfast and told me that the bread was really, really good. Actually, he couldn’t stop raving to me about his bread. “This bread is so yum!” Hah.
The coffee beans at Fifty-six Threads are from Social Roasting Company (another place I like) and was served in slightly annoying square cups. We must be a bit uncoordinated because we found them a bit hard to drink out of, though they did suit the geometric decor of the café.
A couple of weeks later, we returned for a quick brunch with Annette and Terry. The menu had been revamped since our first visit, with more items.
Alastair and Terry both had the Fifty-six Threads breakfast. This came with eggs (poached, scrambled or fried, depending on your preference), served with house-made red onion jam, bacon, sausages, garlic mushrooms and spinach on toasted sourdough ($15). Talk about a big breakfast. They were both very full afterwards.
Annette had scrambled eggs (which I neglected to take a photo of), while I choose the green eggs – scrambled eggs served with a parsley pesto, avocado, spinach and garlic mushrooms on toasted sourdough ($15).
I had a view of the open kitchen from where I was sitting and could see one person cooking all four meals by herself. She did a really good job – everything came out together and it was pretty prompt.
Fifty-Six Threads serve breakfast all day, but if breakfast isn’t your thing, there’s also a few lunch style items on the menu (pita bread pizza, spring rolls, zucchini fritters when we were there), as well as bacon rolls/muffins and other baked goods at the counter.
I like Fifty-six threads. It’s not super hip, there’s no siphon and cold drip here, but it’s comfortable and they do well cooked, satisfying food with good coffee. The service is friendly and they give out coffee cards (we’ve already got enough for a free coffee – ace).
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Fifty-Six Threads Cafe
56 Derby St
Phone: 03 9376 6885