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Family connections run deep at this smart-yet-cosy 12-week-old operation off the Chapel Street trail in Prahran. David Mileikowskis father owns the building a quaint weatherboard cottage in a row of houses overlooking the supermarket car park in Izett Street. When a medical tenant moved out, he encouraged David and David's partner, Jacqui Majzner, to set up a café. Mileikowski runs a personal-training business and Majzner is a school teacher-turned-caterer. They felt they had the perfect blend of people and food skills to create a successful café. We had the building gutted. I worked as the owner-builder and brought in tradespeople to follow to our design, he says. The result is a welcoming home away from home, attracting a steady band of regulars and a growing catering business. Artwork by Jacquis father, prominent painter Victor Majzner, and Davids sister-in-law, Lilach Mileikowski, a well-known ceramic artist, adorns the walls. The decision to use Coffee Supreme coffee pays homage to the couples other family Nineteen Squares in St Kilda. Jacqui and I are locals and weve always enjoyed the coffee there, so the decision to use the same brand was easy, Mileikowski says.
The sudden loss of her head barista has given Majzner a renewed focus on the coffee side of her fledgling business. She hopes her background in food and catering will guide her as she extends her training and takes on a bigger share of the baristas role. I love making coffees and think its time to step up. But well have to find a new head barista, so I can spend some time in the kitchen too, she says. The coffee company selected by the café has given her quality training and, for Majzner, the flavour of the blend is all-important. Ive never had a Coffee Supreme coffee I didnt enjoy, she says. Its mellow, mild and never bitter.
Is It, 11 Izett Street, Prahran
Phone 9533 2904
Barista Jacqui Majzner
Coffee Coffee Supreme
Baristas choice Caffe latte
Opening hours Daily 7.30am-4.30pm
The cream picket fence and Euro-inspired cane chairs on a high, tiled front verandah set the scene for this relaxed, stylish café. Inside, polished floating timber floors and dark timber tables and chairs are offset by crisp ivory walls, high ceilings, stunning watercolour impressions of the Bungle Bungles and other striking artworks. Theres a huge blackboard painted onto one wall featuring the daily menu, a table for eight in the centre of the front room, a couch tucked into an alcove and a fire blazing in the rear room. Outdoor seating along a graffiti-decorated sideway and huge orb light fitting add extra eye candy. The coffee is still being refined my espresso (poured by the previous barista) was well extracted, featuring hints of chocolate and walnuts, but my flat white, unluckily, arrived too hot, its milk slightly burnt.