Alpha Bakehouse, 42 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 6111
The weight of opinion would seem to be overwhelming.
It doesn’t take a lot of looking to find accolades for the coffee served at Yarraville stalwart Alpha Bakehouse.
As well, hordes of commuters get their “roadies” here despite there now being two alternatives that are actually closer to the station.
In my city commute days, I did likewise – but always found the coffee mediocre. But as I say, I am in the minority.
More broadly, we have never really warmed to Alpha. The occasional pie, but that’s about it.
Besides, at lunchtime, the place is so very, very busy.
Again, we are in the minority.
We’ve been aware for a while the place is now open for dinner – and are open-minded enough to give it a go.
What we find and are provided makes us converts.
The joint’s daytime role as a bakery/cafe/sandwich place remains apparent at night.
But the Alpha crew has otherwise done a fine job of fostering a real restaurant ambiance.
In the long room, there are many small tables, a larger one of the communal variety and a broad bench at the front.
Wowee – all are set with real-deal napkins! We appreciate that.
We lover our pozzie at the front bench. It’s a fine place to await our meals on a balmy Indian summer’s eve as we watch the commuters heading home in an endless parade.
The Alpha’s dinner mains mostly range through the $15 to $25 mark and can be described as being in the family bistro or local pub tradition (see menu below).
For once, I pull parental rank on Bennie and choose the “Alpha wagyu burger” ($18).
It’s good, with a nice, hefty patty that perhaps – by our usual standards – could use a bit more zing in the seasoning department.
The bun is excellent, and the greenery and tomato are respectively crisp and fresh.
A nice, crisp slice of bacon would have been appreciated, though.
The chunky “hand-cut” chips are beaut, and I even like them dipped in the generic tomato sauce.
As luck would have it, Bennie’s meal trumps mine – ironic, given his chicken parma ($18) is what I would have ended up with had he been allowed his burger druthers.
As he motors though his dinner, I venture that it is probably the best parma he’s ever had.
He nods in the affirmative.
Based on my sample taste, I reckon it’d be in the vicinity of that category for myself.
It’s really good. And the meat is served mostly beside – rather than on – the chips. Hurrah!
The parma itself is fine, non-reconstituted chook.
Even better, the topping provides a beautifully finessed harmony between cheese, ham, tomato and sage – something that is, in our experience, far from common.
His chips are the same good deal as mine, while his salad is way better than the mere garnish that has attended my own burger plate.
It’s a winner!
Alpha’s dinner offerings are unlikely to become regulars for us, but we love that it’s there – based on our two meals, Alpha is a classy, viable alternative to similar offerings nearby.
And the early-evening service has been attentive and friendly.
The Chaos at lunchtime I have to say has really turned me off this place. Its too confusing and could lead to unnecessary frustrations and ill will amongst punters! But that outdoor are under the trees is pretty spesh!
Hi there! I’m sure they’re aware of all that, so I kudos I reckon for the dinner set-up.
I have to agree with Temasek68. I don’t even bother anymore, too many alternatives (cos I venture to the village oh so often!). The rush at lunch time, and lack of customer service, just makes me run to a much preferred cafe – Wee Jeannie. At Alpha, I feel like I’ve walked into a very expensive clothes shop, with my trackies on….think Pretty Woman….that’s how it makes me feel anyway! Obviously not to so many other people and good luck to them! That’s what makes the world go round after all.
Thanks so much for your evocative comment! Agree … would never go to Alpha just for coffee. Feedback is my new regular. And – more over your way – Cup And Bean. Both never fail me.
I have heaps of fond memories of Alpha, not because of their coffee, but because they opened early. When I was new in the country, I was staying at temporary accommodations on Willis Street and would often be catching the train to Flinders for a 7 a.m. shift start. So many mornings before the horizon was rosy, I’d be speed-walking toward Alpha’s door for brain-stim and a pastry before they undid the lock. There was that pounding tension — would they get me out the door before the boom gates came down?!? Alpha will always have that frisson of drugs (caffeine, the legal one) and danger for me. I couldn’t imagine eating there at dinner. My heart would be inadvertently racing and my ears would be perking up for that “ding-ding-ding.”
You definitely fit at Feedback. Even when I was there in 2005, it was the hippie coffee spot in Y’ville.
As a café owner of Alfa for over 16 years I have continuously put my PUT MY HEART AND SOUL into my business and trying to always provide the best possible service and fresh food to all our customers. It is not always easy to please everybody, however we try to do our best!!! we thank you for your honest comments about our dinners, I am very pleased to finally open up for dinners now operating everyday except Sunday night. We hope you can all come in and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with great food at affordable prices.
many thanks Chris .