167 Swan Street, Richmond
Ph: 9428 7300
Open: Mon-Thurs: 7am-4pm-ish, Fri: 7.30am-midnight, Sat: 7.30am-4pm-ish, Sun: 8.30am-4pm-ish
MY RELATIONSHIP with Timbale began a few years back. It was during the days of silly drinking when a particular hangover rendered me incapable of finding a recommended café for bacon and coffee. Timbale was the nearest kitchen to our Swan St car park so Timbale it was.
Since then the cozy Richmond eatery has been my hangover refuge. In summer I can sit on the street and air out my smoke-stained jacket from the night before. But it’s in winter when I love my Timbale time the most. Those icy Melbourne mornings are when I curl up in a comfy couch and rehash whatever disgraceful act I/we/everyone seemed to think was a good idea at the time.
A reason for Timbale’s possie on my high-rotation list is that it does the basics well. The oj is freshly squeezed, the tea is loose leaf and comes in real china teacups, the magazine rack is well stocked and the music is easy listening – I got to groove to the Beatles on my most recent visit.
But regardless of the season, I can never seem to go past the Timbale breakfast ($14.50). Two eggs with bacon and tomato on Schwobs toast with an oj and a coffee does me just nicely thanks. The vegetarian breakfast is the same price but it swaps the bacon with spinach and mushroom. I have been known to order vegetarian with a side of bacon when I need to cover all bases and the friendly staff are more than happy to oblige.
Eggs Benedict or Florentine - Ben or Flo - are both on the menu ($10.50) and the BLT is a bargain at $7. I’ve never done Timbale for lunch but it has at least two daily specials as well as nine salad options to have on a sandwich/baguette/foccaccia or Turkish bread. If you’re looking for something sweet, the muffin of the day is $2.50 or Seinfeld fans will rejoice in the $1.50 muffin tops.
Downstairs, Timbale is furnished like a standard café but if you want the true Timbale experience head upstairs where it looks more like the lounge room of my first shared house than it does a café. The couches and armchairs are clearly the result of a highly-fruitful hard-rubbish collection and they can be rearranged depending on how big your group is. I’ve often found myself sharing a coffee table with a similarly hung over stranger, which, come to think of it, is just like my own shared house full of weekend randoms. Love it. Timbale almost makes that hangover worthwhile.