Recently, a new noteworthy addition to the café scene in Brunswick has emerged, it is called Lunar by Hikari. Lunar is an extension of the well-established Hikari brand, which has already made its mark in Melbourne’s CBD. This time, they have chosen to expand their presence to the northern part of the city. While I already have a few personal favorites in Brunswick, including ONA Coffee Roasters, Sani, and Code Black Coffee, the question remains whether Lunar by Hikari will earn a spot among them.
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Lunar By Hikari
Hikari, meaning “light” in Japanese, began its venture as a pint-sized, Japan-inspired coffee shop back in May 2022. Initially, their CBD location was a cozy and humble space. However, with Lunar, the team expanded their vision and created a more spacious and inviting coffee haven with unique cultural charm, providing a serene escape from the bustling city.
How to Get Here
Conveniently situated a mere 5-minute walk from Brunswick Train Station, accessing Lunar by Hikari is a breeze. But my journey began in Melbourne CBD, though. I opted to take the train to Upfield, enjoying a peaceful 20-minute ride. Alternatively, if you prefer tram travel and don’t mind a slightly longer walk, you can take tram number 6 and alight at Victoria/Lygon St. From there, a leisurely 11-minute stroll will lead you directly to the cafe.
Stepping into Lunar, I was immediately enveloped by an intimate and sophisticated ambiance. The interior design is a blend of zen and modern-inspired aesthetics, reflecting Hikari’s Japanese roots. The use of dark brick walls and timber wood elements creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, while dimmed Japanese pendant lights cast a soft glow, adding a touch of elegance. The expansive space is thoughtfully divided into various areas, including a welcoming entrance hallway and a cosy waiting area.
Upon entering, you’ll find a coffee bar and the till area on your right – an ideal spot if you prefer a sitting bar-side. The left side houses the kitchen and a larger seating area. As I wandered through the café, I discovered an outdoor area at the back. It seemed to be a work in progress, and I’m curious to see whether it will be used for additional seating. Nonetheless, even without this area, Lunar by Hikari can comfortably accommodate 40 to 50 people, making it a perfect spot for casual gatherings or quiet afternoons.
During my visit, Lunar was relatively quiet, it seemed to be a well-kept secret among the locals. There were a few students, hunched over their laptops, taking advantage of the calm atmosphere. From the outside, you would hardly guess the spacious café that lies within, the entrance is unassuming– this is really a subtle, hidden gem in the heart of Brunswick.
I chose for a seat by the bar, next to the large window. At the time, Lunar’s menu was somewhat limited, They offered a small selection of pastries and snacks, among which I chose the Shokupan bread. but showed promise. It’s worth noting that Lunar didn’t have substantial food items available at the time.
Accompanying my snack, I also got myself a dirty matcha, which is one of their renowned specialties. Hikari with its affiliation to Kurasu Tokyo, is particularly esteemed for its impeccably tasting matcha. On the other hand, their coffee is primarily sourced from Path roastery, which explains the impressive range of filter coffees on offer. As for the price, Lunar falls within the mid-range category, pretty much justifiable.
Coffee & Shokupan
The dirty matcha at Lunar by Hikari to my pleasant surprise, was smooth and mild. For those unfamiliar, a dirty matcha is essentially a matcha latte infused with a shot of coffee. The combination was harmonious, neither the matcha nor the coffee overpowering one another. The coffee was more a whisper than a shout, beautifully complementing the matcha.
As for the shokupan bread, it delivered a burst of delightful umami goodness—it was a very satisfying snack to accompany my afternoon coffee break. On another note, I’ve heard exciting information about Lunar’s plans to expand their food menu in the future, and I’m so excited for what they have in store.
Overall, it was a tranquil and enjoyable experience at Lunar by Hikari. The ambiance was calming, the staffs were hospitable, and the coffee and Shokupan bread, were simply delightful. If you find yourself in Brunswick, or if you’re planning a trip from the CBD, Lunar by Hikari is a must-visit.
- Lunar By Hikari
- Mon – Fri : 09:00 AM – 03:00 PM
- Sat – Sun : 09:00 AM – 04:00 PM
- Type : Cafe [Japanese]
- Price : $
- Coffee : Yes
- Alcohol : No
- Dessert : Yes (Pastry)
- Indoor Capacity : +-45
- Outdoor Capacity : –
- RSVP : Walk-in Only
- Waiting Time : 5 minutes
- Toilet : Yes
- Wifi : Not sure