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Address: 85 High Street, Northcote, 3070

Phone: 03 9481 7623


Twitter: @barry_westgarth


Opening hours: mon-fri 7.30am-4pm; sat-sun 8am-4.30pm

Breakfast hours: mon-fri 7.30am-3pm; sat-sun 8am-3.30pm

Seating indoor only or indoor/outside? Indoors & outside

Pets welcome? yes

Kid friendly? yes

Payment: Credit cards & cash

Soy? yes

Gluten free? yes

Vegetarian? yes

Vegan option/s? yes

Barry is the Business

words by Ellie Parker 29 Nov 2013
photos by Albert Comper

Have you noticed that ladies have started to wear butterflies on their bottoms? I’m referring to The Viscose Harem Print Pant that is currently being worn with absolute gay abandon down our streets and into our cafes. If you think an elasticised waist and a bold zebra print emblazoned across your buttocks is a top idea, you’re wrong. Palm trees and pineapples simply don’t belong on the bottom half of humans. False, fruity confidence is the pits at the best of times, at breakfast doubly so.

Barry is the antithesis of this busy, billowy pantaloon business. Straight up and down, no-nonsense and dependable. It gives you what you want, when you want it, with a friendly, open-armed attitude. Nails it from the get-go. He’s a good bloke really.

The 5 Senses house blend is a killer cup for starters. There are also two blended drinks that you can forgive for being oh so now because they’re oh so good – the first being a blitz of banana, crunchy peanut butter, honey, cacao, almond milk and ice and the second being an apple, kale, cucumber, spinach, parsley, mint, ginger and lime number. Some would call those two drinks breakfast but those people are stupid.

Food is breakfast and the scrambled red chilli eggs with julienned bacon proves that spectacularly. Barry’s additions of spring onion and parmesan are both intuitive and necessary, taking this dish from good to best. As for baked eggs, well we all know they are well-tired in this business. Here they’re reinvigorated with a sugo of chickpeas, coriander, chard, and a huge dollop of creamy salsa verde and a micro green mound. You’ve not tasted this one before. There’s also an optional pork and apple sausage which is in my opinion non-optional. It’s oily and grand. For traditionalists there’s a benedict with potato rosti, slow braised free-range ham hock and some hells-yeah apple cider hollandaise. Oh and let us not forget the peanut-butter-heirloom-tomato-salt-and-pepper peanuts-on-toast combination, just in case you’re bored out of your tiny breakfast brain.

As always with success stories there’s experience, this time it lies in the hands of the Pillar of Salt/ Touchwood posse, Matt, Kael and Loren Sahely. They’ve done something remarkable first and foremost by nabbing a big space on High Street’s premium real estate strip. Not that you can turn left into the damn thing, but that’s a discussion for another day (think Harry Potter running towards a wall in order to board the Hogwarts train). Techne Architects have created a refreshing aesthetic, by slapping some white paint on old bricks and also allowing the occasional bit of black grout to peak through the mouse cracks. It’s Melbourne’s version of whitewashed warehouse with some black box lights. It really works.

In fact Barry is very, very Melbourne. It is exactly what Melbourne does best, from the aeropress to the pour over, the gin-cured trout to the sago pudding, the jerky Bloody Mary to Melbourne Bitter long neck.

Barry is the business.

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