Friday, 1 June 2012

Primary Cafe

399 Royal Parade
Carlton, VIC 3052

My uni is nothing flashy. Located a few tram stops up from Melbourne Uni, Monash Parkville is a huddle of 4 buildings dedicated solely to the training of new pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers. We don’t have big sweeping lawns, fancy gyms, or a huge library. We usually either bring our own lunch, or buy it from a cafeteria that isn’t too different from what you’d find in high school. But there is one redeeming factor. Located in the far corner of campus, on the bottom floor of the staff and administrative building, is a small gem of a cafe – Primary Cafe

Primary Cafe is all sorts of corporate cool, specifically designed to look like an Ikea catalogue and to appeal to the savvy, intelligent researchers working upstairs. But the small, homely touches are what really give the cafe its personality and charm; squishy couches that look like they were lifted straight out of someone’s living room, battered board games, and stacks of magazines and newspapers.

The menu is small and simple, but there is also a satisfying selection of wraps, sandwiches and salads in a glass cabinet for those in a hurry. And an ungodly amount of sweets to tempt students who’ve been to one lecture too many – lopsided muffins with crusty tops whose flavour varies from day to day, jars of cookies and biscuits, and ridiculously sugary Milkshakes ($4) that taste like heaven itself. Their Lemon Pepper Shoestring Fries ($6.5) are also rather amazing.

Soup of the Day ($8)
Soup of the Day ($8)
As tempted as I was by the above combination of fries and a milkshake, I behaved and ordered a bowl of the Soup of the Day ($8), a chunky beef and veggie stew in a tomato base, served with two crunchy triangles of buttered toast. The thick stew is one of those things that are almost imperative to have bubbling away in a big pot on the stove in winter, being so warm and full of goodness. It is absolutely perfect for a cold, bright day, and if the number of soup bowls I saw coming out of the kitchen was any indication, everyone else seems to agree. 

Primary Cafe is a nice place to sit down for a more wholesome lunch if you happen to be on campus and need a bit of a breather. Or to pick up something healthier than the greasy albeit tasty shepard’s pie at the cafeteria. And let’s not forget midday coffee runs. 

Rating: 12.5/20 – their milkshakes brings all the students to the yard

Primary Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I always find it interesting to read about uni cafes... And I love simple menus haha. Nice photos, Ming =]

  2. Thanks! shame I won't have more uni cafe reviews for you to read because this is our only one :p