5 Little La Trobe St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
After a stunning, but incredibly rich dinner at Cheek the night before – followed by a proposal from my now fiancé! – I was in the mood for something a bit more simple and wholesome for breakfast. I had read about Holy Crumpets a little while back, and being a big fan of places that focus on getting just one thing perfect, I was more than happy to forego hotcakes at Higher Ground to give these crumpets a try.
Tucked under an awning just around the corner from Melbourne Central, you’re guaranteed to miss this little hole-in-the-wall if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Seating consists of just a couple of benches, and if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to mistake this for just another one of the many coffee shops dotted around the city.
But this isn’t just your average coffee shop, and these aren’t your average supermarket crumpets, as delicious as those may be. These dimpled rounds are made from freshly ground, locally-sourced wholegrain, and fermented using natural lactobacilli and yeast. It is some seriously artisanal stuff; no wonder people chased them down at markets all across the city.
Coffee was the first order of business, and my Flat White ($4, regular) is as good as you’d expect, with a smooth, nutty flavour. The Hot Choc ($4.5, regular) on the other hand was, to be frank, pretty bad. Powdery and bland, this tastes like the kind of thing you’d get at a primary school camp.
With more than a dozen spreads on offer at 5 dollars a pop, it’s hard not to succumb to one of everything. I eventually decided on the relatively basic Macadamia and Wattle Peanut Butter ($5) and Blackberry Honey ($5), in anticipation of the fancy bois, aka the seasonal specials. The first thing you’ll notice about these crumpets is that they’re significantly darker, coarser, and heftier than your mass-produced alternative. They taste as tantalising as they look, with crisp edges giving way to a pillowy centre that’s light on the palate, yet still retains that satisfying doughiness. It’s good with the rustic peanut butter, but the way the honey collects in the little holes is where it’s really at.
Things get kicked up a notch with the Fancy Bois, and on the day that I visited, it was Grilled Vegemite and Cheddar Cheese ($7), and Lemon Curd and Ricotta ($7).
The vegemite and cheese crumpet was my pick of the day. Each bite was deliciously savoury, the melted cheese enhanced by a smear of umami-laden Vegemite. And for those who worry that the combination may be too overpowering, the heft of the crumpet actually does a wonderful job carrying the flavours, resulting in a balanced yet indulgent profile. This may be simple, but it’s a classic for a reason.
The lemon curd and ricotta crumpet was as good as a dessert as you’ll get anywhere. The thick crumpet, topped with a generous layer of cool ricotta and zesty lemon curd, was almost reminiscent of cake in its texture and flavour. It’s a great way to round out a meal, or even just to have by itself with a strong cup of tea.
Holy Crumpets was pretty much everything I had hoped it would be. They may only do one thing, but they do it extremely well. The crumpets are also larger than average, so you’d be perfectly good having one with your morning cuppa, or two (or even three, if you’re really brave) for lunch. The only problem is the lack of seating but don’t worry – there’s a full sized café in the works. Until then, you can always grab an untoasted 6-pack and eat them in the comfort of your own home.
Rating: 14/20 – heavenly.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.