G’Day Café Lovers!
Welcome to Cards and Cafés!
Located in the heart of Coburg, The Glass Den is in the old gatehouse of the Pentridge Prison, with the rest of the prison being developed into apartments. The owners are said to have made a number of the cafés tables from the 120-year-old prison doors and used a number of the light fixtures from the old prison laundry.
Opened in 1851 and closed in 1997 the prison was home to some of Melbourne’s unruly prisoners, including the famous Mark ‘Chopper’ Read.
There are quite a number of parking spots outside the café along Urquhart Street, but they go very quickly. The café is very popular and you might have to wait for a table if you get there after 10:30 am over the weekend period. But the employees do their best to seat you as quickly as they can, and this café is well worth the wait.
I went to The Glass Den with my friends Beth and Emily to celebrate my birthday. As this café is slightly more expensive than average, we thought that this would be a great spot to celebrate a special occasion.
FOOD & DRINKS
We all loved the menu at The Glass Den and appreciated that they kept the sweet and savoury items separate, so you can easily find what you’re after.
We all thought that the menu offered a good range of dishes and each seemed to have a special twist.
The Glass Den uses the St. Ali coffee blend.
The following menu photos were taken in June 2017 and might have changed since.
I ordered a cappuccino and I loved it! It was definitely one of the better coffees that I have had in a while. It came to the table hot (Yay) and was full bodied, with a rich flavour and smooth and creamy consistency.
Coffee rating: 5/5
Beth ordered the taro latte and was very excited to see it on the menu. The purple colour was so beautiful and vibrant that it excited her inner child.
The flavour was pretty average and she thought that it has a slight bitter aftertaste.
Taro comes from the Taro plant and is native to Southeast Asia and India. The green leaves of the plant, as well as its root can be consumed when it’s cooked, but if consumed raw can be quite toxic. Taro can be white-fleshed or purple and is said to be very similar to a potato, but has a nuttier and richer flavour.
Taro rating: 3/5
Emily ordered the iced soy mocha and she loved it. The drink is basically a frozen ball of coffee, with two small jugs of warm hot chocolate to pour over it.
She said that perhaps there was a little too much coffee by the time she had finished. But she found the drink refreshing and thought that it was a very clever idea. This would be a fantastic drink to have during the warmer months.
Iced mocha: 4/5
Beth ordered the charcoal hotcakes with taro mascarpone, matcha soil, figs, wild berries, kiwis, citrus meringue and sorbet with a white chocolate ganache.
We all thought that the plating was exquisite! The contrast of colours, with the black hotcakes, the pink sorbet, the purple from the taro, and the white chocolate ganache, looked like a piece of art on the plate.
The hotcakes were moist and light and fluffy on the inside. The charcoal didn’t change the flavour majorly; so don’t be afraid of that when looking at it on the menu.
The figs and fresh berries were nice and added little bursts of flavour and freshness to the dish. However, the kiwi fruit was quite bitter and sour.
The sorbet was a bit too sweet for Beth (and she is a sweet tooth). She enjoyed the element on the plate, but would have preferred it to be less sugary..
Finally, the taro mascarpone was great and she was glad that there was a generous serving.
Beth said that this dish is quite different to the hotcakes you would normally see, and said that she would definitely order it again.
I ordered the French toast churros with marshmallow nibs, strawberries, matcha soil, hazelnuts, nutella ganache, citrus meringue and burnt marshmallows.
I thought that this dish looked great! I love that the chef has taken time to develop such beautiful dishes. Let’s be honest, you first eat with your eyes, and if the dish looks as exciting and as beautiful as these do, you can’t wait to dig in.
I personally found the white bowl a little difficult to eat out of, and would have preferred if the food were on the wooden board.
But the French toast churros were superb and basically just melted in your mouth. They had a fantastic crunch to them when you took a bite, with a slight fluffiness on the inside.
I loved the marshmallow nibs and the soft textures against the crunch of the French toast. The burnt/toasted marshmallows were fantastic and added a great flavour to the dish.
The matcha soil was good and I was glad that it wasn’t bitter. I loved the ice cream and thought that it was a great addition and was surprised to see it, as it wasn’t on the menu.
Finally the citrus meringue was great, the subtle citrus taste helped to balance the strong strawberry flavours from the ice cream.
I would definitely eat this dish again. Even though the serving looks small, you’ll find that it is quite rich and you’ll be full in no time.
Finally, Emily built her own breakfast by having the Eggs Your Way, which she had poached with a side of smashed avocado, halloumi and gluten free toast.
The eggs were poached perfectly and the avocado was nice and fresh, but once again was quite expensive ($5).
After that, she ordered another serving of gluten free toast as she was still a bit hungry. She was surprised to see that for this serving of toast she paid $11.50 as it was gluten free.
She thought that the food was delicious but very over priced.
ENVIRONMENT & SERVICE
The staff welcomed us with warm smiles and seated us as quickly as they could. The service was great and the staff were quite prompt in bringing menus, taking orders and delivering our drinks and food.
The atmosphere was quite relaxed and fun and the lovely plants made the place feel inviting and warm. Even though the café got quite busy, we didn’t feel pressured to eat quickly and leave.
There are no split bills, so if want to go down this roadmake sure you bring some cash with you or you can use the small ATM that is located at the front of the café.
The Glass Den has a number of tables spread throughout the inside of the café and a handful of tables outside overlooking Urquhart Street. The beautiful, big windows that surround the one side of the café, allows the light to stream in. This made the place feel warm and inviting, and also helped our photos to come out beautifully.
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE GLASS DEN
Address: 15 Urquhart Street, Melbourne, (Vic)
Phone: (03) 9354 5032
Monday –Friday –8:00 am- 3:00 pm
Saturday –Sunday – 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
CAFÉ RATING = 8.5/10
Have you visited The Glass Den before? Tell me what you thought of it. Do you have any suggestions of cafe’s to visit?
Comment down below, I’m always looking for somewhere new to try.
Until next time,