North Melbourne has been a hotbed of exciting new cafe openings lately, and Lumen People is one of them. I first discovered this gem through a post on social media, and I thought, “Why not give it a whirl?”. It was Friday, and I’ve just wrapped up a quick shift at Paper Tiger Espresso, so I decided to drop by for brunch. Let me tell ya, it’s like discovering your new favorite song; you just gotta share it with the world!
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I came across information saying that Emma Sheahan from Wide Open Road and Marichi Clarke from Seven Seeds; basically two esteemed coffee professionals are the driving forces behind this cozy spot. Quite coincidentally, both Emma and Marichi were actually on-site at the time of my visit. I only found out as I did my research just then, but it was an honor to know that I was served by the owners themselves.
How to Get Here
But before we dive into my experience, let me give you the down-low on getting to this charming spot. The easiest way is to hop onto the number 57 Tram and make your exit at Victoria St / Erroll St. From there, it’s just a one-minute stroll, and you’ll be at Lumen People’s doorstep. Easy-peasy!
Walking into Lumen People, the first thing that greeted me was the beat of chillhop tunes. Though slightly louder than what you might expect in most cafes, the music was more catchy than distracting- actually added to the overall vibe. And despite its compact size, the place managed to feel cozy and snug.
The thoughtful layout allows for 18 comfortable seats inside, along with six bar stools for the solo diners. And there are six outdoor seats available for people who are waiting for their takeaways, or if you prefer to sit under the sun.
The decor in Lumen People itself seems to follow a Scandinavian aesthetic, shown by its simplicity and the generous use of wood, enhanced by these cool pendant lights hanging by the ceiling, and some art pieces on the wall.
Now, decor is one thing, but the true heart and soul of Lumen People really shines through its incredible service. I can’t overstate how Emma and Marichi brought the space to life. They weren’t just attentive; they genuinely cared. From the chit-chats I overheard them having with other customers during my visit, you could tell they weren’t just making small talk. Plus, they were totally cool with me snapping photos and shooting videos for the blog. That kind of openness? Definitely another point in their favor.
I got lucky rolling in just before the rush hour kicked in and Emma set me up in the coziest corner next to this huge window flanked by a couple of plants. The minute I sat down, I knew I’d found “the spot”. Seriously, it was the perfect little nook for people-watching, getting some work done, or simply enjoying the world go by while enjoying my meal.
Now let’s get to the main event – the food. Lumen People’s menu is like a gust of fresh, culinary air in a city drowning in endless renditions of “Avo on Toast” and “Eggs Benny”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some classics, but at this point, Melbourne brunch game needs some shaking, and Lumen People gave me just that. Their menu changes seasonally, and the dishes sound straight out of a MasterChef episode. All this comes at a price of about $15-$21, which is a fair deal considering the level of creativity and quality on your plate.
Initially, reading their menu, I was quite overwhelmed a bit, by the unfamiliar ingredients, but I’m glad that Emma was actively checking up on me without being pushy, and she was more than happy to take me through the menu and answer all my questions. After a few moments of hard thinking, I finally landed my pick and ordered the Roasted Broccoli Sprouts, Rainbow Chard, Stracciatella, Nduja Butter, Crispy Buckwheat, and a Batch Brew Coffee by Seven Seeds.
The service at Lumen People was impressively efficient. I mean, I barely put my phone down after ordering and-boom!-there’s my batch brew. Not even kidding, it was on my table in like a minute. The food followed right after, just about 10 minutes later. The batch brew itself was good, featuring bright and fresh flavors derived from classic Colombian beans. It had sweet, cherry-like notes that were balanced by a subtle tea leaves bitterness and a slight acidic finish.
Meanwhile, the Roasted Broccoli Sprouts dish was a surprise, elevating what you might think of as a simple veggie like broccoli sprouts to star status. The combination of soft and subtle Stracciatella cheese with the firmness of the broccoli, all amplified by the nutty crunch of crispy buckwheat.
If you’re thinking that’s already pretty perfect, the star of the dish that tied everything together was actually the Nduja Butter. Infusing the dish with a delightful umami, buttery richness, and just the right hint of heat. The overall composition was beautifully executed, with all elements blending seamlessly. Now I’ve got to be honest – the stems of the rainbow chard were a bit challenging to chew, but aside from that, it was a remarkable dish that easily deserves a 10/10 in my book.
To wrap it all up, if you’re cruising through North Melbourne, I get it- there are a ton of great choices around, but trust me, you’ve got to swing by Lumen People at some point and experience it for yourself. They’ve got the killer food, the chill vibe, and ultra-warm service, I, for one, can’t wait to revisit and see what Emma and Marichi have whipped up for the next seasonal menu. Until then, cheers to finding hidden gems that make life just a little more delicious!
- Lumen People
- Mon – Tue : 07:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Wed – Fri : 07:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday : 08:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Sunday : 08:00 AM – 11:00 PM
- Type : Cafe & Wine Shop
- Price : $$
- Coffee : Yes
- Alcohol : Wine
- Dessert : Pastry
- Indoor Capacity : 18
- Outdoor Capacity : 6
- RSVP : Walk-in Only
- Waiting Time : 5 minutes
- Toilet : Yes
- Wifi : No