Anyone who denies that Footscray has a solid cafe culture will find themselves on the wrong side of history. West 48 is a local foodie favourite proving the naysayers wrong, delivering exceptional coffee and moreish eats.
West 48 has seen the Footscray boom take place, and has grown with it. Owner Steffan Tissa established the cafe in 2011, naming it for its street number and location in West Footscray. Despite having no gas supplied to the premises, Steffan opened up a small panini bar, armed with a single sandwich press and plenty of enthusiasm.
Today, West 48 fills two shop fronts with brunchers and lunchers, a mix of locals and foodies from all over. The industrial space is constructed from repurposed steel, concrete and timber – designed and built by Steffan and the team from C8H10N4O2. The atmosphere is welcoming and creative, in line with the staff’s pride in their knowledge and friendly service. A young team mans the kitchen, overseen by Steffan, preparing delicious brunch and lunch offerings with local and ethically sourced produce.
Start the day on a sweet note with the buttermilk and ricotta hotcakes with saffron-poached pear, vanilla bean mascarpone and white chocolate macadamia crumble. If more savoury flavours are in order, opt for the sesame scrambled tofu, served with Asian field mushrooms, kale, pickled ginger and carrot, peanuts and crispy brown rice; or the breakfast dog, sure to cure the previous evening’s overindulgence – a ciabatta roll is topped with cheese kransky sausage, scrambled egg, vintage cheddar, onion relish and smoky barbecue sauce.
As the day moves on, sample some of the heartier lunch options, such as the wholesome Yum Bowl, a mix of falafel, couscous, okra, crispy broccoli and cauliflower, hummus and pickled red cabbage, all drizzled with a turmeric and tahini dressing; or the spice-infused slow-cooked lamb, served on creamy hummus and dukkah with crispy paratha bread and a punchy coriander chutney. Alternatively, take a journey to the other side of the globe with the Japanese-style pancake, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayo, grilled asparagus, poached eggs, peanut crumble and bento flakes.
Whatever the time of day, your meal can be perfectly paired with an Allpress espresso, or if you’re up for something a little different, a batch brew or Vietnamese-style coffee. For those not caffeine-inclined, Prana Chai, tea by Chamellia, and old-school milkshakes are all available to quench your thirst.
Steffan may have established a local brunch institution, but he’s not content to rest on his laurels: plans are currently in the works for a liquor license, as well as a couple of exciting new developments.
Come weekend mornings, you might find yourself in a queue for West 48’s famous smashed avocado – you’re not in Fitzroy, but in Footscray, where the foodie scene is rivalling the northern and eastern suburbs. In the search for the ultimate breakfast, West 48 is where you’ll find the best of the west.