It’s coming up for five years since Alex Anderson and Kate Holloway opened The Premises in this space that winds behind a corner florist shop over a couple of levels, and the couple and their numerous crew are still serving the best coffee in Melbourne’s inner west.
The house blend is a custom mix of Ethiopia Oromia with a Guatemala San Antonio Chaquite that Anderson and Holloway bought after a trip to the farm with Seven Seeds. As a short black it has nice lifted fruit, some nutty nougat-like sweetness, savoury dark notes and a lovely clean finish. (Good news: Anderson says they’ve also bought the farm’s next crop, so the blend should continue for some time.)
A Kasheen Kikelion from Kenya highlights the careful brewing here with clean, sweet berry fruit around the edges and a raisiny finish as it cools.
The mix of spaces means there are perches to suit any mood: busy tables near the Bellair Street door, a stool at the bar on the Macaulay Road side or a table on the Bellair Street footpath when the sun is shining. The vibe is cool and neighbourly – the further west you go in Melbourne the more grounded things seem to be.
Food is firmly cafe-creative: Moroccan beans with spicy sugo and lemon baked feta; a hot salt beef roll with pickled cabbage; jerk chicken on a sourdough sandwich with pineapple chutney; and the surprising salad sandwich of cauliflower bhaji, green tomato and chilli salsa.
The Premises Jr, an offshoot on Bellair Street, eases the morning takeaway crush and offers a wrap-and-roll based menu for Kensington Station commuters.
Where 202 Bellair Street, Kensington
When Mon–Fri 7am–4.30pm, Sat–Sun 8am–4pm