MELBOURNE | Frankie’s Top Shop is a local café and food store located in St Kilda amongst residential apartments and holiday apartments, so close to the beach that you can smell the sand and feel the ocean breeze. Owned by renowned food writer, Michele Curtis, Frankie’s Top Shop has only been open for a couple of months, but the vibe within this cosy eatery feels like they have been here for years.
This beachside setup is perfect for Michele’s first café venture, as it represents the quintessential scenery associated with living a healthy and free lifestyle, which Michele strongly believes in. Her philosophy is to create healthy, homemade and delicious food that remains innovative and exciting, but also stays true to the classics. If it’s something that she likes to eat, you will most likely see it on the menu or as a weekly special.
Weekly specials change depending on the weather or the season, with more soups featuring as the weather turns colder. The all-day menu includes breakfast staples such as toast, bircher muesli and fritters, as well as the popular buttermilk pancakes with fresh figs, labne and maple syrup. On display in the glass cabinet at the front, you can choose from a selection of house-made and rustic pies, tarts, sandwiches and vibrant looking salads, whether to eat in or take home.
An innovative dish that is consistent with the superfood craze going around Melbourne, the Smashed Roasted Sweet Potato & Turmeric is served with toasted seeds, herbs, feta and a poached egg, on a piece of multigrain toast. Being roasted, the sweet potato mash has a slightly darker colour than what you would expect, but don’t let that fool you. The sweetness of the potato pairs well with the turmeric, cut through by the sharp yet creamy feta cheese knobs dotted around the plate.
On the simpler side, the Roast Chicken Sandwich is served on seeded bread, filled with mayonnaise, herbs, avocado, mango relish and rocket. More enjoyable when the bread is toasted, the chicken filling inside is light and fresh, but we thought it lacked an oomph of flavour that could potentially raise it from a standard sandwich, to an addictive sandwich.
Also catering to those with a sweet tooth, a range of homemade muffins, cookies, slices and cakes are on display at the front counter. As Michele understands, it is impossible to follow a completely clean and healthy diet without being able to treat yourself occasionally. If you’re in the mood to create something yourself at home, you can also purchase foodstuffs such as chutneys, broth, honey, chocolate and oils (just to name a few) from local producers and brands, as well as a range of cookbooks, some written by Michele herself.
The farmhouse feel within this small café and food store is perfect for locals dropping in for some breakfast, or passers by seeking somewhere to graze the day away. The friendly nature exhibited by staff and the aptly titled ‘Frankie’s’ all aim to retain the familiarity that locals felt when entering the previously occupied ‘Frank’s Milk Bar’. If you’re seeking a simple meal in a venue that has personality, come try Frankie’s Top Shop, maybe followed by a walk along the beach afterwards.
Frankie’s Top Shop
20 Cowderoy Street
St Kilda West
Telephone: (03) 9525 4971
E-mail: [email protected]
Mon – Sat: 7:00am to 5:00pm
Sun: 8:00am to 4:00pm