Depending on where you park, Market Lane is either at the front or the rear of the Prahran markets in South Yarra. The markets are a bit of a feast for the senses with delis, fruit shops, cheese stores and my favourites – Greek dessert and patisserie stores. So a specialty cafe that sets up in this sort of locale needs to be outstanding. Enter Market Lane.
Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a cafe’s aesthetic quite so much. Wooden benches, chalk boards, washed out colour and plenty of greys and whites… and dashes of colour.
The coffee was the star of the show though – I ordered a “coffee flight” which includes three pourovers from different origins, and followed up with a flat white. Their attention to detail was top notch, and my co-pilots, the parents of the friend we stayed with, had never had brewed coffee before and left incredibly impressed with the clarity of the flavours described on the beautifully designed take-home tasting cards.
The espresso based drinks were also pretty super, they came with vintage tea spoons, which again, were a nice touch.
We didn’t have any food here, and I’m not sure why you would with the range of options available just outside the door. But Market Lane was my favourite coffee stop, I really don’t understand why other cafes charge more for brewed and pourover coffees than they do for the standard espressos, but the $12 coffee flight is a bit of a steal, it kept our table of five pretty happy, and gave us the chance to sample some pretty exotic coffees at a bargain basement price.