One Little Place

Leanne Tolra Theres a quaint English-village feel at this sociable caf, created by the noisy chatter of groups of women and the gentle banter of elderly couples.

Harry the barista
Harry the barista

There’s a quaint English-village feel at this sociable café, created by the noisy chatter of groups of women and the gentle banter of elderly couples. It’s exactly what former pharmacist Hamid Jeiranzadeh and his wife, Haleh, who was a high-school teacher, were looking for when they here moved from Iran. “We wanted to have new jobs and experiences when we started our new life in Australia,” says Jeiranzadeh, (known to staff and friends as Harry “because it’s easier for them”). He says the couple’s decision to enter the hospitality industry was based on their desire to work with people and “because Melbourne cafés are very special places, with a very good atmosphere”. Haleh worked in cafés in Melbourne for a few months before the pair decided to own their own. They took over in December, changing little but the menu. “We put in new fridges and added to the menu with homemade soups, cakes and pasties,” Jeiranzadeh says. The menu includes artisan Turkish rolls with chicken, avocado and spinach, or salami, semi-dried tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella. Sandwiches include the “best-ever” chicken mix with mayo, celery and parsley and for breakfast there’s cranberry granola, porridge with banana and cinnamon and a selection of baked eggs. Jeiranzadeh says the previous café owner had used St Ali coffee and he saw no reason to change: “It’s the best coffee, I think.”

Kim Jae Hyun (who also likes to be called Harry) came to Melbourne from South Korea 10 months ago to visit an uncle living in Carnegie. The Korean-trained barista and keen internet surfer says the decision to work in a Melbourne café has changed his life. Our city’s coffee culture has seduced him. Kim, who adopted his boss Harry’s nickname as a mark of respect, says the coffee industry in South Korea is dominated by large American chains. He had spent three years working in smaller cafés back home, avoiding the franchises, and says coffee roaster St Ali has supported his expanding specialty coffee skills. The café uses the roaster’s Champion blend, and a short macchiato will be rich and acidic, with bright notes of pear and walnut. A long black holds similar notes, with a rich body and a lingering syrupy flourish.

One Little Place 352 Wattletree Road, Malvern East

Phone 9885 0429

Barista Kim Jae Hyun

Coffee St Ali Specialty Coffee

Barista’s choice Flat white

Open Monday to Friday 7.30am-4pm; Saturday 8am-3pm The elegant bones of this classic Edwardian shopfront have been given respect: leadlight windows in soft-jewel tones have been highlighted with glossy black paint, and exposed, worn floorboards, and sandblasted original brick walls are on show. Hessian sacks as wall art are billboards for the house coffee roaster and the chalk-drawn menu fills the green-painted wall behind the counter. Furniture is restricted to pale-veneer-topped tables in mixed sizes, all set with matching black-legged chairs. An antique sherbet-green trolley holds water bottles and glasses, while silk flowers in a glossy black pot repeat the subtle colours of the feature windows. One Little Place on Urbanspoon

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