Julien Moussi is no amateur when it comes to cafes. With an ever-growing number of establishments under his belt, he knows what does and doesn’t work when it comes to the world of coffee and brunch. He’s thrown all this experience into Tinker, the Northcote cafe that’s delivering an exceptional offering to a whole new audience.
Tinker is the youngest in Julien’s family of Melbourne coffee institutions. Its older siblings, among them My Other Brother, Temperance Society and Penta, have built reputations as destination cafes – places people flock to from every corner of the city. Tinker is following in their footsteps, quickly attracting a crowd from near and far.
In running his Northcote cafe, Julien is joined by Kristy-Lea Deva, Adam Vocale, Ben Argentino and chef, Nicky Campbell. Each takes a hands-on role in the business, helping Tinker reach its full potential.
The first step was the coffee. Moussi cafes are known for their superb coffee and Tinker is no different. Jack Roffey leads the charge as Head Barista, and with the help of a Synesso machine and a custom coffee blend, he creates an espresso that is best enjoyed with milk. Expect notes of hazelnut, cocoa and caramel from your coffee, with beans sourced predominantly from Brazil and Colombia.
For those who prefer their coffee black, Tinker stocks a supply of single origin blends from MAKER Fine Coffee. Each season, Tinker’s baristas help select the beans on offer, learning how to get the best out of each one. In addition to espresso, the coffee menu also includes a full selection of alternative brews, including cold drip, batch brew and V60, depending on availability.
Tinker’s world-class coffee may be responsible for some of its allure, however the popularity of the space can also be attributed to the extremely photogenic menu. Pops of bright yellow, purple and green produce are regular features, but the seasonality of the dishes means the menu is constantly changing.
If you’re all about chia seeds and smoothies, match your coffee to a wholesome acai bowl, topped with ingredients like peanut butter, fresh fruit and bee pollen. If it’s on the list, the sriracha-baked salmon is also a hearty and nutritious option for a lunchtime meal.
Those with a sweet tooth should turn to the panna cotta, the mango and saffron treat has been served with vanilla, almond and cranberry granola, strawberries, passionfruit, raspberry and coconut. Delicate plating makes it a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach.
Unlike the fare, Tinker’s fit-out is relatively minimalistic. Design firm Pop & Pac informed the branding, introducing a simple backdrop of white that’s broken up by accents of grey, mint and orange.
If you needed more proof that Julien Moussi is the real deal, visit Tinker in Northcote. The lively space combines the best elements of the city’s coffee culture, offering yet another spot for Melburnians to flock to.