My mum, Sylvia and I planned to have lunch at a bookshop cafe on the other side of the High Street. It was closed. We crossed the new road-crowding, traffic-calming, pedestrian-nannying super tram stop and spotted an unassuming cafe. Inside the Gypsy Hideout is a stylish white room with pine tables and blocks of wood for seats. We walked through to the courtyard out the back where the sunshine beckoned.
Spring sunlight is great when you have a new macro lens on your camera. But it didn't take too long before our drinks arrived. In a laboratory beaker. It was very trendy. And lots of fun. But it just didn't look like that safe in Sylvia's little hands. I wondered how much they cost. Fortunately I was too preoccupied swooning over the red fruit juice in our 'Gypsy Elixir'. Our waiter said it was stuff like cranberries and berries. Yes he was that vague (albeit friendly). My mum thought she could taste strawberries. It was refreshingly delicious.
Lunch was equally fascinating and full of elusive flavours. My mum and I shared the Gypsy Plate. Yemista (roast tomatoes stuffed with herbed rice and accompanied by feta), meatballs in tomato sauce (for my mum), avocado, black olives, creamy baba ganoush and toasted sourdough bread. We ate off chunky plates with cool retro patterns. The stuffed tomatoes were spicy and had some subtle flavour I couldn't identify. I didn't want to bother the waiter with more questions after checking the meatballs were in a separate bowl and asking for Sylvia to have a plain pancake without any sweet ricotta filling.
It was a lovely relaxed lunch, made even more enjoyable by the early spring sunshine and good food. The smattering of other punters were the usual weekday types - students, young mothers with prams and those who need a break from working at home. I imagine there is more of a crowd on weekends. Unfortunately I didn't have much time or temerity to take too many photos of the interior decor. particularly the green wallpaper on the counter. You can see far better photos at Mel: Hot or Not.
Hanging out in the Westgarth end of Northcote makes me wish I spent more time there. My mum often goes to Silly Yaks to buy gluten free bread. (NB They have GF bread at the Gypsy Hideout.) The health food shop next door sold hemp seeds - the first time I have seen them on sale anywhere in Melbourne (and I might have bought a bag if they weren't so huge). Down the road is the Westgarth Cinema, where I saw many amazing films back when it was known as the Valhalla (or the Val to its friends). It is great to see a cafe with a stylish outfit and an interesting menu in the neighbourhood.
Gypsy Hideout 68 High St Northcote,
0433 166 248