Friday, April 13, 2012

Cafe Love: West 48

I literally tripped over my own feet last night in the rush from my house to West 48, the newest cafe in the neighborhood. I've been stalking the place you see, just waiting for it to open and I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the windows were finally clean, the lights were on and much movement was taking place inside. The prospect of a cafe a mere 180 metres from my doorstep in Footscray is a perfectly acceptable reason to stumble excitedly up a gutter I say, even if I soon found my enthusiasm was ever so slightly premature.


As I fell into the newly renovated space for the first time, it was impossible to wipe the grin off my face even when I was told that tomorrow morning was opening day. As my eyes feasted on seeing the cafe interior close up, owner Stefano was telling me about the place. Along with his business partner Jag, they've decided to do cafe food with a little Spanish influence, seven days a week from very early (6.30-7am) til around 4pm. Music to my ears. Good coffee is really important to them and they've chosen to use Allpress.


The use of dark timber and walls inside gives it a moody sophistication, uplifted by pops of orange in the coffee cups and exposed wiring from the huge overhead lights. Yellow Tolix stools are little rays of sunshine along the impressive timber share table. The exposed brick along one wall nods towards the building's history and Footscray's industrial roots. Nice touches are provided in the vintage scales on the counter, clock on the window bench and potted herbs. Even though most of these elements are starting to seem formulaic in the cafe scene, I do love them. West 48 manages to balance the shaky line between rustic and sleek without falling into grunge.

This morning we headed back for something to eat on opening day. Bravo to West 48 for opening on Friday the 13th! Don't worry, nothing went awry on our visit (oh except for the fact that I had to pay in gold coins because I had no cash and their EFTPOS is not yet up and running!). The mister only had time to gulp down an orange juice ($4) before heading to the train. Hopefully, as they progress they'll add some easy takeway options for these situations. I enjoyed a cappucino ($3.50).


With my limited coins, my food choice was limited. I'm looking forward to returning with a pocketful of cash to try the heirloom tomatoes, avocado and feta on toast ($11) or the organic egg and prosciutto with garlic aioli and rocket ($11). A couple of male customers seemed to be enjoying a roll that may have been the latter. Today I tried the organic fruit bread with honeyed ricotta ($9) which was simple but very good and filling. The butter was very cold making it hard to spread but if that's my only complaint, I think the world will go on.

Lunch is served from 11am and consists of toasted ciabatta rolls (breakfast is all day so that adds to the choices). I have my eye on the tiger prawn ciabbatta with coriander and aioli ($12).


West 48 is located at 48 Essex Street, Footscray (roughly between the Western Hospital and Whitten Oval).  The site was developed a year or so ago and the old facade was rendered. I do miss the old cursive lettering that read 'J Lockie and Son' but I'll take a cafe any day! Oh yes I will. When I'm not tripping over in excitement, my heart is offically singing to welcome West 48 to the neighborhood.

West 48
48 Essex Street,
Footscray, Victoria.

West 48 on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

  1. thanks for letting me know about this - will definitely go and check it out!

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  2. Ooooh, exciting! Would love to meet you for breakfast or lunch sometime. Jealous that you can just stroll down the street to eat there. :)

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    1. Let's do it! Maybe a Sunday since everyone but me seems to be busy being sporty on a Saturday!

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  3. I am heading back to Yarraville for a visit tomo - maybe I will need to call in here on the way. So wish this cafe was around when we lived in West Footscray!!

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    1. Did you make it to West 48 Lizeylou? It was so busy on the weekend that we couldn't get a table for breakfast!

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  4. We have been wishing, hoping, praying that every shop along Essex would turn into a cafe. Now it's finally here! I went today and had a fabulous, fabulous prawn ciabatta. Lovely people and coffee. Not much more to want!

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    1. Life in WeFo is looking good, that's for sure. I can't wait to try that prawn ciabatta.

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  5. I live in Essex Street and saw it yesterday for the first time...can't wait to try it!

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    1. Hey 888, how cool to have a cafe on your own street. You may have to join the queue though, the place has been pumping :)

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  6. The prawn roll is fab. Totally. Heading back to try more options soon.

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  7. Hi Anon, I'm jealous but so glad to hear the prawn roll is as good as it sounds. You may never receive this reply but I'm just loving the new blogger reply feature and going a bit crazy since I activated it just now!

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  8. I’d definitely love to visit this café one of these days. Their coffee looks delicious, and I’m fascinated with the interior especially the timber table. It looks rustic -- just perfect for the place! Well, from how you described it, the place seems cozy and wonderful. I also think the owner of the café would be happy once he hears all the kind words you said here. ^^,

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