Sunday, November 05, 2006


My English mate Vanessa always refers to this cafe as Laundry. Don't know why that's interesting, but it is a unique concept in a cafe I guess; wash your dirty clothes and get a caffeine hit simultaneously.

I admit to being a semi-regular patron at this place. I really like the eggs, the coffee's acceptable, but most of all - there's a great safe outdoor space for feral toddlers to run around while I savour my breakfast and attempt to scan the newspapers.

Food is the best feature at this joint - and breakfast is the only meal worth having here. They do it really well. Eggs done any way, with all the best side orders you could imagine (eg grilled haloumi, smoked salmon, mushies, great hollandaise, sauted spinach with caramelised get the drift). Generous serves but not silly-sized; good toast; season-appropriate fruit and cereal dishes (hearty porridges in winter/ fruity granola in summer).

Coffee's only average. Not horrible, but not brilliant. I don't know whether it's the blend, but it's a bit bitter for me. And the lattes often miss the mark. Then again, my cafe-savvy Melbourne-based sister (a long machiatto) says they made her the best coffee she had in Hobart last time....

Service is friendly. I guess I'm erring on being in the wrong demographic profile for their aimed custom (being a hassled housewife and all) but I am still treated with a happy smile, snappy banter and genuine service. Keep in mind that I avoid peak busy times, so cannot vouch for consistent service then.

The ambience is good. The music's too loud for me when seated inside, but outside it's pleasant if the sun's out. It's a pretty mixed customer in there for breakfast; tourists to uni students to the pram brigade. Not a lot of suits, but it's probably too casual for a business breakfast. The tables are close as well, and not ideal for private conversation. In all, a bussling busy cafe with a vibrant mix of customers.

As previously noted, the big plus this place has is it's location in Salamanca Square right next to the giant chess set. This provides much distraction and entertainment for kids of all ages, which is a bonus. You are 50+ metres from a road and potential hazards for small children. Booster seats are available for children. The staff are also happy to provide doggy-chinos for pampered hairy friends, which I love.

I am yet to see anyone actually laundering at Machine. I kind of wish they'd move on from that particular theme and get rid of the washing machines and dryers; replace them with a carpeted couch seating area with a more relaxed feel.

Rated 7/10
Machine Cafe, Salamanca Square, Hobart


Anonymous said...

Onya Nellie
The views of a woman who breakfasts regularly is a great addition to the Hobart blogging scene.
Look forward to more..

Whitey said...

Great stuff. Looking forward to more reviews.

Don't forget to include details on price and value for money!!!

Anonymous said...

My fruitcake worked nicely too; through gross mismanagement. We had to go out to Elite appliances and so I turned the oven down and time got away from us - worked better than the 'proper' recipe. Think your idea of the figs is v good - I like the way they look when you cut through them.

Have you been to New Town Station yet?

Nellie said...

whitey, I'll keep in mind your request for costings.

kitty, yes the figs are good in the cake. I haven't made it to the nursery cafe yet (time's gotten away from me too this week) but hope to be dining there on Sat morning.

Or at Lansdowne Cafe.

Tassie_gal said...

YAH another breakfastophile! Stephen and I do b'fast at least once a week (gen Sat or Sun morn) somewhere in Hobart. machine is a favourite - I am addicted to their baby ben in a bun.
Look forward to seeing more reviews!

Nellie said...

hey tassie gal
I always intend to just go the baby ben (or baby flo or baby roy), but then sanity prevails and I upsize.

Anonymous said...

We flew in to Hobart on a Friday morning and pondered where to go first. Being big brekky people, a hunt through urban spoon and then a supporting google search uncovered this place.

Funky idea - laundry and cafe. Very 'Melbourne'.

The food was amazing. Wait staff nice. Coffee ok, definitely not great. The only criticism we can offer (and it's picky) is that they've tried too hard to go retro on the fit out. The colors and fit out are close, but not quite genuine retro - and as mentioned, the coffee just isn't quite there.

Great place and DEFINATELY worth a sticky beak for visitors from Melbourne like us!

Best food we had in Tassie though.