Fifty-Six Threads Cafe


This guest post has been written for us by Consider The Sauce pal Peppy/Karen. You can read her reviews at Urbanspoon here – as you’ll see, she’s very much on the same page us! Thanks for the cool company, fine conversation and the write-up!

Fifty-Six Threads Cafe, 56 Derby St, Kensington. Phone: 9376 6885

This one is a diamond in the rough – newly opened Fifty-Six Threads Café sits at the bottom of the imposing brown public housing block on Derby St in Kensington.

The name is a combination of the street number (56), with the “Threads” representing all of the different cultures and communities entwined like thread – very fitting for the latest social enterprise by AMES in conjunction with Urban Communities, in which the “main objective is to provide employment and training opportunities for new migrants”.

How good is this?  Get a good feed and help those who are new to our shores obtain hospitality skills!

After following Consider The Sauce since moving to the area 12 months ago, I finally got around to telling Kenny how much I liked what he was doing in his blog. Less than a week later we had arranged to meet to check this place out for lunch.

Both Kenny’s blog and Footscray Food Blog have been favourites of mine since moving to this side of the city and they have helped me to discover the amazing places to eat and go to on the west-side, so I am honoured to be able to contribute a review to CTS.

What is nearly as important as the food to me is the service, and this place won me over as soon as I walked in – very friendly and welcoming.

Nothing seemed like too much trouble and I think they were genuinely interested in making sure that we enjoyed our meal there. The fit-out is full of timber and cool suspended lighting – honestly, you could be at any of the fancy new cafes in the area sitting in the sun-drenched dining area.

Now on to the food!

The menu is split into two sections, All Day Breakfast and Weekly Specials.

Sadly the chick pea chips had sold out (cry) so Kenny went with the chick pea, bacon and thyme broth ($8) and I went with the Beetroot tamarind and dill spring rolls ($12).

I must admit I did have a bit of food envy when Kenny’s huge bowl of chick pea goodness arrived – it was a generous serving of bacon and vegetables cooked with garlic, carrot, onion and of course chick peas with two slabs of sourdough just waiting to be dipped in.

However, when my spring rolls arrived I think we both ordered winners.

The substantial cigar-sized spring rolls were filled with chards of rich beetroot that the chef tells me were cooked in a sauce consisting of tamarind and rosewater syrup – I will be on the lookout for a bottle of this when I’m in the Asian grocers next time.

I have a crop full of beetroot at home that I need to use and this was such an awesome way to cook it.  The pastry on the spring rolls was crisp and flaky, the salad was fresh and the orange segments were a great addition.

I love a good mayo, too, and could have probably done with 10 of those little pots as it tasted so good.

I also had a latte, which was from the Social Roasting Company – couldn’t fault it.  They also have a coffee loyalty card system there as well – bonus!

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to go and check it out for breakfast and lunch the next day, so I dragged the husband out for a snack.

We shared a 56 Threads Breakfast ($15) and the pita bread pizza with chorizo ($8).

OMG you must try this pizza out – it was a cheesy, meaty, saucy plate of awesome.

The breakfast was everything it should be – well cooked and runny poached eggs. Oh and the red onion jam – far out loves it sick – all big breakfasts should come with a serve of this.

And don’t think I didn’t take home a freshly cooked almond and apple muffin, a little slice of baklava and a plum jam tartlet – all amazing.

I wish there were more homemade goodies to take home – I bet those chefs out the back have lots of awesome recipes for cakes and slices – or maybe I just came on a day where they were cleaned out of the cakes.

I honestly just love this kind of initiative that supports the neighbourhood – sometimes I feel that I don’t do enough when it comes to being an involved citizen of my new community.

I wish I had more time and money to give.

When I went to pay (by the way, they accept Visa/Mastercard) I had to double check the amount due – after the quick (bad) calculation in my head I could have sworn I needed to pay more.

The guy behind the counter tells me “it’s not all about the money”.

Amen to that!

It was lovely to meet up with you for lunch Kenny, hopefully more of us western suburbs food addicted bloggers can get together again soon!

Fifty-Six Threads Cafe on Urbanspoon

9 thoughts on “Fifty-Six Threads Cafe

  1. *applauds* Someone give that woman a blog! Lovely writeup PeppermintTea/Karen. I’ve been wanting to check 56 Threads out – look forward to doing so really soon. House-made crumpets, yes please! Thank you for all your Urbanspoon contributions – I use Urbanspoon a lot and appreciate the effort contributors put in. Lauren 🙂


    • Agree – it’s a two-way street. I like knowing what the likes of Peppy and Nat are up to through Urbanspoon. Some of those folks are every bit as gung ho, professional and discerning as any blogger.


    • thank you lauren (karen here)! i just love your blog i really do. you must check this place out – next time i want to try the french toast and the crumpets too – the little tartlet i took home was made with the blood plum jam and it was very good. one day we should do a big vietnamese lunch! k 🙂


  2. Terrific review, nice one Karen. 56 Threads is situated about 100 metres from where I used to live in Kensington, but they took a long time in constructing the cafe and sadly we moved out while it was still a work-in-progress. Haven’t been back to check it out yet. I love Shakshuka though, so might have to check it out 🙂

    Before its new lease on life, the space was the dingiest, horriblest little milk bar/cornershop with bars on the windows and out-of-date stock on the shelves. It’s great to see it reborn as a thriving social enterprise.

    Do you know if they will be introducing any African food onto the menu? Back when I was a local, I remember hearing that Sorghum Sisters were involved in the project too, and that it was directed at assisting Horn-of-African women gain a foothold in the workforce. There’s a big Horn of Africa community in the flats where 56 Threads is located.


    • Juz, thanks for the background. Yes, both places are run by AMES – see link in Karen’s story. So I was sort of expecting some sort African flavour. No matter – what we had was plenty good, and who knows what the future holds?


  3. Great review Karen, I love the combination of cultures in the food. I spent a part of my childhood at the Kensington flats. It is so nice to see the new developments in this neighborhood.


  4. Pleasant lunch at 56 Threads today. Interesting food, good coffee, attentive service. Note that the western end of the cafe has JJJ blaring over a speaker while the eastern end is quieter.


  5. What a terrific write-up! I’m sad I live all the way over near Moorabbin – we need a social enterprise kitchen/cafe over here I reckon. Nice work.


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