rear 280 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
There's an incongruity between the inside and the outside of The Wall. Outside, this appears to be an über hip outpost of Fitzroy camped out in East St Kilda. The kind of place that you think about applying heavy eye make-up despite getting out of bed on a Sunday MORNING. Only two small tables outside, and a couple of long cushioned benches against a sunny brick wall. Order from cool young things in tight jeans and black rock t-shirts through the-hole-in-the-wall counter and linger in the warmth of the sun as you sip your coffee.
Inside, the decor is all post-industrial and matched/mis-matched found local things, like the old wooden sign from a Kosher Butcher (which, though nodding to the area's Russian-Jewish history, jarred as most of the meat on the chalk-board menu was pig by-product (bacon, ham and pancetta) is also fits the more 'Northside' sensibility of the cafe. The customers inside don't fit the image of The Wall. Which is, I'm guessing, due to the menu.
All sorts of toasted pide make up the menu aside from a jungle curry added as almost an afterthought in small letters right at the bottom. And the place is packed with small people eating plain buttered or ham/cheese/tomato toasted pide with their small sticky fingers and drinking babycini attended upon by their big people eating smoked salmon and roquette toasted pide or pide filled with varying combinations of salad and ham or pancetta. Well, I would too! If I had a small person, I'd love the wall. Food that they'll eat without fussing over and seats that they won't fall out of unless they try very hard.
I enjoyed the baked beans that I ate but I wouldn't call them a knockout dish (I did dig the presentation - it was smart). My coffee was very good and I'd rate it ******** according to fluffy's rating system (though thankfully it didn't come in the uncomfortable cup, just the standard $1.50 glass). Don't get me wrong, the food was fine just very standard cafe fare especially where there is so much variety nearby.
Next time I go, I'll stick with coffee, sit on the bench and do the crossword or simply watch the world go by.