Once upon a time, Pentridge Prison's boot factory was a site where prisoners made boots and shoes for the prison guards. Fast forward to present day and the site is now home to The Boot Factory, a charming and cosy cafe.
On the day of our visit, overcast weather, wind with a chilling bite and a smattering of rain called for some hearty dishes. Enter, the sautéed wild mushrooms that caught my eye almost immediately. Featuring a many number of my favourite ingredients, it was love at first sight when I came across the dish on the menu and more importantly, love again at first bite. The aroma from the truffle infused butter made quite a fragrant statement but less so when it came to taste. Despite this, the mushrooms were still downright delicious, with a rich, herbed flavouring teaming beautifully with the natural, earthy sweetness of the mushroom medley. The shaved ricotta further upped the flavour palette.
Taking a step back from the heartiness that was the mushrooms dish, we also ordered the salt and pepper calamari, which was a special menu item during the week of our visit. A testament to its freshness, the calamari was light and tender, and coated in a delicate, seasoned batter that complemented the accompanying spring onion and chilli. The sauce was quite sharp and tangy, and not quite suited for the calamari. The smokey chipotle mayo that came with the sweet potato fries on the other hand also paired nicely with the calamari.
Apple desserts scream of winter comfort, and the apple crumble ricotta hot cake certainly ticked this box while also leaving quite the tasty impression. The hot cake itself resembled a light cake with a 'crunch' in the crust. The stewed apple compote brought the apple component to the dish and while quite sweet was well balanced by the fragrant vanilla bean mascarpone. The cherry on top of this delicious cake was the house made crumble that delivered a gorgeous sweet crunch.
While the calendar says that it's now spring, knowing Melbourne it'll still be winter for a while longer yet. Head into The Boot Factory Cafe for their slice of tasty winter comfort that will chase away those winter blues.
The Boot Factory Cafe
19 Pentridge Blvd,
Coburg, Victoria, 3058.
(03) 9354 4369
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of The Boot Factory Cafe. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.