08 January 2011

Let's go for a ride - Ici

Cafe Review: Ici
Where: 359 Napier St, Fitzroy

My housemate and I decided to go on an epic bike ride for the recent public holiday - all the way from Coburg to Lake Albert and back again (alright, maybe not that epic to seasoned riders, but pretty huge for us).

Along the back alleys and sidestreets of Melbourne we came across a little corner cafe with people literally spilling on to the street. Well, that was enough to make us want to see what the fuss was about, and in we went.

Ici in Fitzroy is a popular place, and there were no free tables. After chatting to a very helpful (though very busy) waitress, we were allowed to pull up a couple of stools on the pathway outside. Getting a seat though turned out to be the easy part.

Ici stocks T2 teas, a range of about a 20 - my mind was not equipped to handle such an unexpected range of choices, and the poor waitress had to stand there for about 5 minutes while I pondered my decision. I eventually settled on a French Earl Grey (though I was tempted by a Turkish Apple based iced tea).

Service was quick and the tea was delicious - I had mine without milk (naturally). I will complain that they use Zero Japan teapots (this is a personal gripe because I think they always drip everywhere, but don't let that put you off if you have a fondness of these teapots). The first cup was a rich, clear brown like translucent chocolate, the taste just lightly tanine-y with a hint of bergamont and roses. The second cup (poured about 15 minutes later, I know waaaay too long) was too overbrewed for me, but my housemate happily drank it.

I have since been told that Ici has an excellent breakfast range to go with your morning cup of tea. I thought it was a really good little cafe, with a great vibe (though maybe this was more due to unexpectedly getting a decent cup of tea?)

The Rating
Atmosphere: 4/5
Available food: 3/5
Tea range: 4/5
Tea had: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

NB: Just in case someone gripes about me rating food I didn't have, let me just say the food LOOKED really good and I've heard good things about it. If we hadn't just had breakfast I would have happily tucked in to any one of the plates coming out.

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