You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Legacy with their bright, fresh dishes that dominate Instagram . Fairly recently divorced from the Tinker group (don’t worry it was all amicable, and they shared custody of the panna cottas), Legacy has been going its own way for about 15 months now under new owner Costa and his wife, and while there’s plenty which is reminiscent of the original owners, this cafe is definitely forging its own unique trail.
The first thing that struck me about Legacy is that it’s smaller than I expected, there’s only maybe 6 tables at the back, a large communal table and some window seating. However, they use the space well. The communal table is majestic, and could comfortably seat the Waltons, the window seats feel secluded and discrete and if it’s a nice day there’s tables out front too.
The second thing that struck me is that Costa was born to do this. “Sorry I talk too much” he apologises, “it’s the Greek in me”. It’s a warm day and he’s sweating from head to toe by the time we leave. He does nothing but run from table to supplier, back to another table, to his staff: talking, talking, talking – but building foundations, relationships and a face, a personality which singles this cafe out from its endless competitors. They work hard, tirelessly sourcing good local produce: “Our eggs come from chickens which are taken for walks” Costa announces, “and our veg is delivered daily from Camberwell market”. Now Costa is not naturally a foodie, and all this has come as a result of learning and wanting to see a job done well.
So can you taste the difference? Well yes. We ate 4 meals between us at Legacy and I didn’t feel bloated at all; I felt full, but healthy, like I’d eaten “real food”. Costa gave some great advice on the menu, and unlike many cafe owners, he’d eaten everything on it – serious tip there cafe owners, if you don’t want to eat your food, why would anyone else? We started with the chilli scramble and the sushi bowl. The chilli scramble probably wasn’t the ideal choice given the weather, but the gentle warmth and rich, creamy eggs accented by the excellent seasoning were enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.
The sushi bowl was another highly enjoyable dish. It’s in dishes like this where the freshness really stands out, but with a generous serving of sushi rice, and salmon tatiki as the real hero the dish was more warming and filling than I anticipated. There’s plenty of fresh veggies in there, and there’s the nori, soy and spring onions for those expected asian flavours, but we felt it was almost like a “transition sushi bowl”. It was sushi, but for everyone. You don’t need to be a raw fish lover to enjoy this.
We followed this up with the Hokey Pokey Hot cakes and the Pitaya Yoghurt Panna Cotta. The panna was just the most incredible colour. The yoghurt gave it a wonderful texture but for me it was the grilled orange and passion fruit which really tipped it from being good to being great. Their tart flavours just cleverly lifted the dish and gave a lovely taste combination when eaten with the panna. M.B. adored the simplicity of the hot cakes. On the menu they sound overwhelming, and while they look gorgeous there still seems a lot going on; however, when you try them they are a classic sweet breakfast. A bit of a sugar hit – but a stripped back and understated one.
Overall, Legacy is about high quality, fresh food, and a warm welcome. What else could you want from a Melbourne cafe? Good for kids? Well they’re happy to accommodate anything on the menu to suit your little ones. Great coffee? yep they’ve got you covered there too – strong enough to wake you up, and smooth enough you’ll want another! Thanks for inviting us Legacy, it was an absolute pleasure and we’re looking forward to hearing about your new dishes soon!