Small Block is an old favourite I have been sipping soy Chai latte’s at for a few years. It’s top quality Chai, no fuss, no toppings but a decent froth that invites some raw sugar melting.
I’m not sure how commonly known the term ‘raw sugar melting’ is. I first came across it in New Zealand where I observed a friend sprinkling some raw sugar on top of her latte – a cafe latte at the time. The sugar crystals would quickly melt, leaving a beautifully caramalised top. As I have come to perfect this technique I have learnt one must then scoop a teaspoon of froth from the top at exactly the right moment when there is still a crunchy sugar texture. Why waste a spoonful of sugar in the Chai latte? It is rarely needed, but on top it is a treat.
Small Block is on the funky, gentrified end of Lygon Street in Brunswick East. The walls are adorned with large numbers I assume were once used at the servo telling the price for petrol. Sitting on a corner this cafe features an ever changing wall of street art (something else I love about Melbourne). I’ve seen some spectacular pieces here and adore the current adornment of little girls jumping in colourful paint.
The Chai and the street art keep me coming back to Small Block but I should also mention the food is divine. The Summer Breakfast with beetroot relish and goats cheese never misses and the ricotta pancakes with Barbados cream and pears are the best in town. For a mid week lunch the steak sandwich provides some satisfying hunger relief.