Billy’s Central, Melbourne Central
Food: Dippy Eggs, Dark Chocolate Hot Cakes, Chilli Scramble
Billy’s Central has the ideal location of being in Melbourne Central, but in the slightly quieter area just before you enter Emporium – meaning that, while it’s still popular, it’s not as hectic as many of the shopping centre’s other eating areas.
They make good use of the space, with a coffee counter out on the walkways and seating behind this as well as indoor seating which includes a large communal table inside the unit. It allows for that additional space to incorporate those people just quickly stopping in, but also gives the full cafe vibe with the inside seating – which does feel comfortable and secluded. The spotlights and wood panelling give a clean minimal finish.
We were promptly and warmly welcomed by the front of house staff and allowed to choose our table. However, the service after that was just a little too prompt and routine from the waiting staff – who arrived to take our order within a minute of us sitting down. They were polite, but lacked some of the passion and enthusiasm for their job that makes for really great service.
There’s a great range of dishes on their menu from light bites to full lunch meals – and it’s a really good option on this front for a shopping centre cafe as there should be plenty of options for everyone. Dishes change seasonally and they also have a liquor license, meaning you can enjoy a drink with lunch if you’d like. We opted for the dippy eggs, chilli scramble and pancakes.
Now, I am hugely excited that dippy eggs are making a comeback, however, I’m yet to see a cafe really get this dish right yet! Unfortunately Billy’s Central were no exception, and my eggs were well overcooked and not even a little bit dippy – now before you blame the photos, we take photos of runny eggs all the time and they are still mostly runny once we’ve done! I liked the presentation and the truffled pecerino soldiers were very tasty. It’s affordable at $12 but we felt we had to add the extra avocado and bacon crumb to make it a more interesting dish.
The chilli scramble, while a little on the small side, was quite well done. It was a nice simple, fairly mild chilli scramble, and we popped one of the generous sides of bacon on there to bulk the dish out a little. We liked the mix of goats cheese in there, but would have loved to see a touch of fresh chilli too.
We followed this up with the hotcakes, which were our favourite dish. They were light, spongy cakes, with lots of different fresh fruits on there. The rich dark chocolate sauce paired perfectly with the crisp apple sorbet. There was a lot going on with this dish, but it seemed to work, and I liked that you could get a chocolatey dish which was also somewhat healthy thanks to the fruit. A very bright and enjoyable end to our brunch!
Address: Shop L02, 220A Melbourne Central (By Emporium Link Bridge)
Mon 8am to 4pm
Tue 8am to 4pm
Wed 8am to 4pm
Thu 8am to 5pm
Fri 8am to 5pm
Sat 8am to 5pm
Sun 8am to 5pm
Parking: There’s plenty of paid car parking near to Melbourne Central – it’s not cheap but you won’t have a problem finding a spot.
Getting here on PT: It’s probably the most reachable destination in Melbourne by PT – catch any of the buses that run along Lonsdale and they’ll drop you right outside the centre. Melbourne Central Station is just a couple of escalators and a short walk away. Swanston street and Elizabeth street trams also all stop at Melbourne Central.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Billy’s Central. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.