Dear Melbourne cafes: I’m breaking up with you.
Words by Michelle Andrews.
I need someone to come to my house, gently shake me from side to side, pour a glass of cold water on my head, yell a string of profanities at me, and then confiscate my bank card. I need a nice, random intruder (preferably a tall man with broad shoulders and a nice smile… but I’m not picky) to break and enter into my family home and then take complete control of my finances.
Because this week alone I have managed to spend no less than $75 on fancy schmancy cafe meals. 75 DOLLARS. SEVENTYFUCKINGFIVE. And I have nobody else to blame but myself. I am a woman gone rogue. I have lost the plot. Shit has hit the fan. I have zigged when I shoulda zagged.
Can someone please remind me why I STILL eat at over-priced Melbourne cafes?
I am 100% serious. My cafe eating habit needs to stop. Brunches need to stop. ‘Coffee dates’ that turn into ‘Oh, well I’ll get something to eat while I’m here dates’ need to stop. Now. Because the fact that I am eating at cafes twice a week IS DESTROYING MY SOUL.
It’s absurd that I continue to enter these super indie Melbourne establishments, with their exposed wooden beams, chic rose-gold water taps and freaking grass attached to the walls and fork out ridiculous amounts of cash without batting an eyelid.
For those wondering, yes, that IS a cafe in Melbourne. Because chairs on ceiling = art. Art = Indie. And Indie = Melbs.
“Oh, $5 for a green tea? Sure, here you go, this is totally worth $5.50 just for your internal grass-wall, industrial light fixtures and arrangement of vintage bikes on the ceiling. So chic, very art, much cafe.”
NO. N-O. I am no longer freaking paying $5 for hot water with a 25c teabag. I don’t care if the mug it came in has been hand-painted by forest pixies and a small friendly elf. I should not pay $5 for a green tea. Ever. I don’t care if the cafe calls itself an eatery, a tuckshop, a store, a brewers, or a roasters. It’s still a fucking cafe. And $5 for a green tea is not okay. Even if said cafe does name themselves something wanky like ‘Hardware Societe’.
The fact is, I could make most of the cafe breakfasts for approximately 8.43% of the price in the comfort of my own home (read: in the comfort of my pyjamas and decaying ugg boots). When I go to a Melbourne cafe, I’m practically paying for all the pretentious bells and whistles stuff that I give zero effs about. Like unnecessary indoor plants. And pepita seeds.
Now for a quick public service announcement about pepita seeds:
Dear Melbourne Cafe owners,
Pepita seeds are glorified rabbit food. I don’t want them on my plate. They taste like air, have the texture of stale bread and the visual appeal of a toad. Your pepita seeds are not fancy, your pepita seeds are shit and they have no place on my smashed avo.
While I’ve got your attention, let’s have a chat about goji berries, too. Look, I get it, I get it, you think adding goji berries on top of my already ludicrously-priced smoothie is cool because #HealthIsALifestyle and you’re a wellness warrior or whatever. But please save me the $4 those shrivelled up, poor excuses for fruit are gonna cost me. They look like my feet when I’ve been in the bath for too long. Also, I’m not an Instagram foodie and despite the goji berry’s magical healing properties, I’d rather save my tastebuds the trauma, thanks.
Pepita seeds and goji berries are as desirable on a plate as Pauline Hanson is a political figure. Feel free to ditch both (take Pauline while you’re at it), they will not be missed.
The saddest thing? I continually fail to see how that money could (should) be better spent. I will happily pull out $30 for my breakfast, but $30 for a good book? Ooooh I dunno, might spend a week thinking about it. $30 a fortnightly gym membership? Hmmm that’s a pretty big investment. A $30 donation to the Australian Paralympic team? Maaaybe, but money’s kinda tight at the moment.
$30 for a mediocre plate of toast, eggs, avocado and an average cup of coffee? SURE! CAN I ALSO GET SOME DISGUSTING AVOCADO/SWEET POTATO/VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES WITH THAT?
Melbourne cafes, I think it’s time we take a break.