Block Place, Melbourne
(03) 9650 2373
Open: Mon-Sat 7am - late, Sunday 9-5.
IN its heyday it was the place to be. Well we thought it was anyway. For uni students with plenty of free time to lunch, Cafe Segovia in Block Place was classy, cultured... and affordable.
Things have changed since the '90s. A suggestion from a friend to meet in the Block Arcade was a welcome opportunity to revisit an old favourite.
The look is the same: mosaic glass shards, mirrored walls and packed booths, with sought after French cafe style tables in the arcade.
Quality Euro fare beckoned. But the extensive menu was plastic and grotty and no specials were offered. Specials based on seasonal produce is a good thing. Then things really started to fall apart. The $20 calamari salad came with a hair atop undercooked calamari. And it was small - the calamari, not the hair. Cake from the dessert cabinet was necessary.
The best looking was a berry cheesecake. A big chunk arrived for $8.50 with faux-tasting vanilla ice-cream. It was slightly stale. More disappointment.
The lunch meeting was absorbing enough to avoid wallowing in food disappointment.
A few coffees later and a startling $80 bill was presented. Luckily work was paying for this one.
The positives: The buzzy vibe in the arcade. The Block Arcade is truly one of Melbourne's best.
Outside tables are prized, so you feel like a winner being there, despite the lacklustre food. Service is young, eager and friendly.
Go for coffee until things improve. With its former formidable reputation, Cafe Segovia deserves another try down the track.