Code 21 (Brunswick East)

Fo0die dined as a guest of Code 21 and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.

Located under an apartment complex, Code 21 was just starting its 5th week of serving brunch to the Melbournian crowd. One of the co-owner is no stranger to the hospitality industry, having owned his own venue in Tasmania and decided to tackle the competitive Melbourne brunch scene with the aim of bringing Modern Australian food with a slight Middle Eastern twist.

We dined during the holiday period (between Christmas and New Years) and noted the area had a lot of 1P parking available on Brunswick Rd Monday through to Saturday and unless you were there for a quick bite, 1P isn’t a lot of time. There are a limited amount of all day angle parking on Canning St which is located just across the road from the cafe.

The number ’21’ in the cafe’s name neatly tied it to the address of the venue, 21 Brunswick Road.

Interior

The interior has a nice modern industrial vibe; from concrete columns to exposed concrete ceiling. This is paired with timber tables and chairs with metal feet, spotlights off the ceiling and draping greenery off the shelves.

Code 21: Interior 1 Code 21: Interior 2

The interior is well lit with windows (that open up for the warmer weather) all around the cafe’s L-shaped seating area (perfect for the food photos!) A variety of seating options are available; from smaller table of two to tables of four to a large communal table to a bench that seats four looking out onto the road.

Code 21: Outdoor Seating

For the warmer weather, outdoor seating is available just in front of the cafe with umbrellas to shade from the sun. Because we dined on a beautiful sunny day, there were no gas heaters in sight so we couldn’t confirm whether the cafe had these available.

The interior design was well thought out with the inclusion of sound barriers hanging off the ceiling to help with noise bouncing off the concrete walls and ceilings.

Food/Drinks

The menu consists of a breakfast, lunch and sides section; all printed on a single A4 sized menu with a separate A4 sized menu for the drinks on offer (wine, beer, cider, juice, smoothies, milkshakes, coffee and tea).

Code 21: Cold pressed juice and strawberry milkshake

From the drinks menu, we tried a strawberry milkshake, which wasn’t artificial tasting and not overly sweet, and a green cold pressed juice from Green St Juice Co (which was very green and healthy).

Code 21: ​ Truffled roasted mixed mushrooms

The truffled roasted mixed mushroom dish had a nice truffle flavour with a generous amount of different mushrooms, beautifully presented with the beetroot puree. No doubt that this was not an easy feat plating up mushrooms and making it look like a piece of art on a plate given it’s neutral colouring. The rosti was made up of shredded potatoes and by itself was a little bland and needed the beetroot puree to be paired with it.

Code 21:​ Pulled ham hock benedict

The ham hock benedict dish had a lightly toasted brioche bun with a slight crispness to it when digging into the bun with the salty ham hock and crackling. The crackling itself was surprisingly not at all chilli and a little on the harder side.

Code 21: ​Spiced orange hotcakes

We finished off with the spice hot cakes which is the only sweet on the menu at the time we dined. The spice in the hotcake brought a slight middle eastern twist which is subtle enough to not be ‘in your face’ middle eastern. Despite the appearance of this hot cake looking like the typical hot cake in the brunch scene, the hot cake itself was purposefully designed to be a more dense, bouncy and doughy instead of the pancake/cake like texture.

Code 21 has one of those menu’s that make it hard to pick a single dish to try and is a welcomed addition to the Melbourne brunch scene, bringing its subtle Middle Eastern flavours to brunch.

Dishes that make up this review

  • Truffled roasted mixed mushrooms on potato rosti, sugar snap with beetroot puree and crisp ($19.50)
  • Pulled ham hock benedict on black ink brioche bun with sumac hollandaise over poached eggs topped with chilli crackling ($19.50)
  • Spiced orange hotcakes with blackberry curd, lemon curd, pomegranate poached pear, berries, pistachio and chocolate parfait ($18.50)
  • Strawberry milkshake ($5.50)

Address: 2/21 Brunswick Rd, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Phone: (03) 8370 9078

Rating: