At the moment, Melbourne can make a strong argument for having the best cafe culture in the world. It is heavily populated with cafes — and cafes which are industry leaders too. However, as is true of all trends, things can begin to feel a bit too similar to each other. Fit-outs have many of the same design features, coffee offerings are not all that varied, poached eggs and smashed avocados are on every menu board … and the list goes on. So what would it take to create something just a little bit different?
We have all been to those places which lack authenticity or are trying just a bit too hard: so how can a café owner be different in a good way? A solid point of difference can be a game changer in any business, but especially in hospitality in Melbourne. That is why Gene Kapaufs, his mother, Sandra Farrugia, and their cafe, Advieh, have endless potential.
Set in the western Melbourne suburb of Seddon, Advieh’s location marks it out as different. Originally a working class neighbourhood, it is only now beginning to receive attention. Real estate prices are rising and shops are morphing into bakeries, cafes and wine bars. The way Advieh is positioned means it bridges two worlds well. Both the venue and vibe have a bit of grittiness and funk. The cafe speaks of authenticity, easily reaching the former working class, while at the same time, its uniqueness, particularly as demonstrated by the menu, connects with the newest generation of Seddon families who relish a point of difference and celebrate food.
Advieh is a spice or a spiced mixture used in Persian cuisine. It is usually put on rice and / or soup, but it’s clearly something that makes Persian cuisine stand out. Symbolically that really encapsulates Advieh’s menu. Sure it has things like omelette for breakfast or salad for lunch, but those omelettes are served with blood-red Turkish sausages and those salads have ingredients like barley and lentils mixed with honey, vinegar and coriander. If you’re looking at the menu and still can’t decide, then walk over to the fridge and see what appeals. If there are still too many options and or too many interesting things to try, then order the mixed plate and you will be sure to enjoy a solid selection of the day’s goodies. Keep in mind that you must save room for dessert. It might be a stretch on the waistline — but order the baklava. It is freshly made and arguably the best in town, pairing perfectly with an espresso shot of Dark Horse.
Now nearly two years old, Advieh seems to have found its feet. It has taken patience, lots of learning and a bit of renovation, but the recipe really seems right. In fact, Gene mentioned that he only really cared about doing things right. He said, “Once it is right for us, the money and success will follow.” There is wisdom in that statement. It seems to say that Advieh has always had a clear identity. If we look closely and think more deeply, then it is easy to acknowledge that that is what marks Advieh out as different.
71B Gamon Street
Seddon, VIC 3011
Monday — Sunday 8:00am — 3:30pm