The Midnight Baker
Since the starting point of The Midnight Baker is bread, we'll begin with that. Yeshe and the team bake three different Freedom Loaves - an oat-based loaf, a buckwheat loaf, a herb loaf and a cinnamon chai loaf. These loaves are high in fibre and protein, so they're far more filling and healthy than regular store-bought breads. Fresh loaves are made every day in the cafe, and can be bought wrapped in brown paper and string (don't they say the best things come in brown paper and string?). The Midnight Baker bread can also be found at over twenty cafes and restaurants around the country, including Catroux, Odettes, the Lunchroom and Major Sprout.
Although The Midnight Baker is based around this idea of nutritious bread, that is only one of the refreshing things about the cafe. A favourite of mine is the latte lab, where hot brews of Red Velvet latte (a bright pink cacao and beetroot) and turmeric latte (golden yellow, a turmeric chai latte) are created.
The space is small and snug but very light, and every aspect of it has been created with love. So while you can buy a loaf and then eat it at home, or try the bread at other cafes, taking some time to soak in the space and atmosphere at The Midnight Baker is just as nourishing as the food.
Of course, it's not as though The Midnight Baker just sells dry toast and pretty fresh loaves - it sells exquisite meals with toast at the heart of each one. Their menu includes sweet options - raw vanilla cheesecake spread with cacao drizzle and freeze dried raspberries, for example - and savoury - like their basil pesto with roasted vine tomatoes, crumbled cashew cheese and hazelnut dukkah. There are also children's options for those smaller toast-eaters, although I would happily eat those meals too - cashew and coconut Better Butter, sliced banana and freeze dried fruit, anyone? To sum it up - this is not your ordinary rushing-out-the-door-late-for-work toast.
I very happily ate the roasted spiced pear with date caramel, Whoatella (chocolatey goodness only available at The Midnight Baker), coconut-almond crunch and vanilla Nice Cream. "I'll just take the photos and taste it," I said. "Oh, well, I'll just finish it," I said.
You can't really blame me, though.
The Freedom Loaf is also a must for anyone wanting bread that's actually kind to your body - anyone with gluten intolerance or celiacs, anyone who frowns at the long list of preservatives on a bag of bread, anyone wanting vegan loaves or bread that leaves you full and ready for the day ahead. And if you're just looking for some delicious, healthy, gourmet-amazing toast, The Midnight Baker can't be surpassed.
Photography by Wyo Paul