Monaco House, 22 Ridgway Place, Melbourne (map)
Reason #257 that DJ and I are great housemates: shared taste in cafés.
Over dinner on Tuesday night with best-friend-K and said housemate, I was excitedly telling them about THE most fabulous café I'd visited for lunch that day. "It's down a little alleyway. Imagine you're walking down Little Collins Street from Spring. Meyers Place on your right, Bar Lourinhã on your left. Between Champagne Lounge and the high brick wall hiding the Melbourne Club's tropical Secret Garden is an alleyway..."
DJ interrupted. "Sweetheart, are you talking about Liaison? It's my new morning coffee place, ever since I moved up to the Paris End. The très fabulous Danny and Sian hook me up with superior caffeine every morning, love!"
I should have known that DJ would have sniffed out a perfect little café for his new local. However, I was actually tipped off about Liaison's existence by Essjay who, thanks to the magic of Twitter, had recommended it and sent me a link to her review.
Liaison is on the ground floor of Monaco House, a ridiculously fabulous building (the phrase "architecture porn" does spring to mind) which also houses the Honorary Consul of Monaco. Of *course* it does.
The interior is pretty teeny tiny (the seating is mainly stools along the front window and the side of the bar) but there is a cute little back area with a communal table.
There's also two tables out the front facing the Melbourne Club's brick wall, and plenty of extra stools and milk crates to form impromptu seating in Ridgway Place itself.
I visited Liaison last Tuesday with the lovely KT, recently returned from a stint overseas doing various superstar legal internships. She and I each ordered a toasted panino containing rocket, prosciutto, tomato, provolone and marinated eggplant. It was perfection in a panino - the good quality prosciutto and provolone really made it taste authentically Italian. Sigh.
We then shared two macarons between us: one was strawberry with a creamy centre, one was raspberry with a jammy centre. Both were gorgeous.
If I worked at this end of the city, I'd be here at least once a week! But shhh, don't tell everyone about it or we'll never be able to get a table... :)