It was a classic lightbulb moment. The owners of a soon to be opened new cafe were at the computer trying to register a business name. Everything they wanted was already taken. Frustration was beginning to show when one said “It’s no use crying over spilt milk”. A pause, and simultaneously they smiled and said, “that’s it – Spilt Milk”.
You will find this tiny gem in Carnegie. A suburb that is slowly but surely finding its own style and personality. Helped in no small measure by the presence of a cafe that could hold its own in virtually any location. There are no remnants of the Op Shop that used to be found where Spilt Milk now sits: the floor was lifted to reveal concrete that has been treated and polished, the lower ceiling removed to expose the beams, wide welcoming windows that are almost always open, and a handful of handmade tables and benches. Keeping it small was a deliberate move according to owner Jansen. He wanted to be able to make eye contact with all customers from his usual spot behind the coffee machine. This same spot also allows him to serve takeaway coffee through the open window to the steady stream of regulars that have already built up in the five months since it first opened it’s doors.
The handwritten menus present you with options for First Meal and Second Meal with the quirky touch of all items bearing the name of an animal. The idea came from the owners’ young children who wanted to be involved, and so you will find Possums (homemade blueberry apple and pecan loaf) alongside Sparrows (homemade bircher muesli marinated in juice with berries and honey) and the odd Toucan (sliced tomato, buffalo mozzarella, avocado on rye toast).
SHEEP – baked eggs in the pan with sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach and feta served with sour dough toast and chilli jam.
DONKEY – poached eggs, baked bacon, fresh spinach and spiced capsicum aioli
ZEBRA – olive sour dough with onion jam, baked bacon, avocado and ricotta
MONKEY – seasonal fruit with yoghurt and berry coulis
ROSELLA – chicken salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, walnuts and a touch of honey
Spilt Milk is what all local cafés should aspire to be: a friendly welcoming place that provides good food, great coffee (on offer here is Coffee Supreme – the Origin Blend and rotating single origins) but above all excellent service. The staff here go out of their way to remember the names and preferences of the regular customers. They understand that in the service industry its the little things that count.
288 Neerim Road, Carnegie
Open seven days a week 7am – 3pm
A small disclaimer of sorts
You may from time to time find at Spilt Milk baked items such as pasties (Wombats), sausage rolls (Cougars), yoyos (snails) and other sweet treats made by yours truly. I am am delighted that a café I think is great wants to stock my wares, but its not why I love them.