Saturday, September 21, 2013

Min Lokal

For the memories

422 George St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Min Lokal on Urbanspoon

Forkful of yum
As I sit in this söt and vänligt cafe in Fitzroy, enjoying my läcker salad and killer kaffe, I'm taken back to 2002, when I lived in Amsterdam and worked in the fashion industry. Ok, so I packed and tagged clothes in a rather unglamorous warehouse – it still counts!

We were a motley, international crew – Spanish, Cuban, Portuguese, Dutch, German, British, Australian and Swedish. A ragtag crew quite literally: armed with tagging guns, we shot price-point and line-item information through clothing samples day in and day out. It was brainless work, but we had a lot of laughs learning of each other's cultures, backgrounds and stories. Of course, the international language we spoke was English (lucky me).

One day we were talking about English words that have been absorbed into other languages ('sexy' and 'f*ck' the two I recall being discussed). Then the Spanish words that are used in English ('loco', 'fiesta' – there were many), then the German ('kindergarten'... again, loads). Eventually, one of the group turned to the Swedish couple among us and remarked that no Swedish words have made it into the international lexicon; we all nodded, he's right, there's no Swedish word that we all know.

As one the Swedes rose up, indignant. "Yes, there is," they cried out in unison, "SMORGASBORD!"

Those muffins are not going to last long

Poached chicken salad with added spiced sausage
Anyway, two more Swedish words are embedded in my consciousness thanks to Min Lokal ("my local") – there's no smorgasbord here, but there is lip-smacking goodness in the carefully curated menu, and easygoing, friendly staff. Let them convince you to add shaved, spiced sausage to the poached chicken salad with rocket, sweet potato, avocado, pearl barley, pepitas and Danish feta – so, so good. I also enjoyed the playful mural on the wall and their woody version of a terrarium in the front window.

And coffee connoisseurs, rejoice: my latte was loveliness in a cup.

Söt window dressing
Swedish–English glossary
kaffe – coffee
läcker  – delicious
Min Lokal – my local
smorgasbord – smorgasbord
söt – cute
vänligt – friendly

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