Throughout the world, the five Blue Zones – cities with the highest percentage of people who live to 100 – have a common thread: a plant-based diet. In Japan’s Okinawa, the city sitting at the top of this list, matcha consumption is also extremely popular.
The team behind Matcha Mylkbar wants to bring the longevity and sustainability benefits of these two concepts to the people of Melbourne, creating a cafe that emphasises not just wholesome fare, but fantastic flavours.
In 2016, Mark and Attil Filippelli (from Il Fornaio), and Nic Davidson and Sarah Holloway (both from Matcha Maiden) opened the doors of Matcha Mylkbar to the public. Mark and Attil are hospitality heavyweights with a number of successful venues to their name, but they’d never entered into the plant-based, health-nut space. That’s where Sarah and Nic came in. With a flourishing online global matcha business but no physical shopfront, it was the perfect pairing to bring the unique concept to life.
The unique cafe’s corner location inspired the inclusion of a milkbar reference in the name, but since the entire menu revolves around plant-based foods, it required a little tweaking. ‘Mylk’ is the name given to non-dairy milks, and perfectly encapsulated the entire concept.
Matcha Mylkbar is renowned for both its use of matcha, as well as its impressive ‘latte’ offerings. The selection includes beetroot, mushroom, carrot cake, apple pie, turmeric, blue algae and cacao, meaning no matter your preferred taste, there’s something new to try.
The cafe has also become known for its innovative breakfast and lunch offerings, which change regularly to incorporate new discoveries and feedback from the community. Offerings might include a soy ‘chicken’ burger in a bright green matcha bun served with sweet potato fries, and incredible vegan ‘eggs’, from wholly from ingredients that are derived from plants.
The menu also features a section of dishes based on each of the five Blue Zones. The pumpkin gnocchi is inspired by Sardinia in Italy; a plant-based ‘lamb’ souvlaki from Ikaria in Greece, and the baked sweet potato is infused with flavours of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
There is also a range of plant-based smoothies available in signature skull glasses, with tongue-in-cheek names to boot. Try the If You Know Any Vegetable Puns, Lettuce Know, made with coconut, avocado, spinach, matcha, coconut oil, dates and coconut water, or the Simba Was Walking Too Slow, So I Told Him To Mufasa – a spicy blend of turmeric, banana, macadamia, mango and coconut water.
Matcha Mylkbar aims to challenge the status quo by making plant-based food more appealing to mainstream foodies. The talented team behind the cafe aims to open people’s minds to this type of consumption and change eating behaviours in a way that benefits both the body and the planet.