Noglu Essendon should be your next gluten free brunch

Noglu Essendon should be your next gluten free brunch

Noglu, as the name suggests are a fully gluten free cafe located on the sunny side of Essendon station. Serving organic produce wherever possible and pouring Ona coffee, everything the team make is without compromise.

I had my first visit to Noglu when I was looking for a place to go to with some friends in the Essendon area. I knew right away after looking at the menu that my gluten-eating buddies would be completely satisfied. In fact, it got the non-gf seal of approval with one of them later saying;

I forgot it was a fully GF place.

That is just so good to hear.

A proper Melbourne menu

Just because a dish is gluten free doesn’t mean it has to be healthy (or vegan!). The menu at NoGlu is like any other brunch location around Melbourne, except coeliacs can eat there without a worry!

The menu has classics like baked eggs and a take on smashed avo (with peas). But there’s more adventurous items too, like crispy prawn tacos, gravlax waffles and my go-to, karaage chicken sanga (I love fried chicken!).

The karaage was super crispy and complemented by a spicy slaw and mild gouda. The only thing I didn’t like is the coriander, but that’s just me!

Karaage chicken sanga

It should be said that the coffee is also spot on, and there’s a good tea offering too.

For those wondering about oat milk, yes they do serve oat milk at Noglu. However, I spoke to the owners and they told me they use a separate steam wand just for oat milk so that there is no chance of cross contact.

Sweet treats

It wouldn’t be a coffee catch up without a few sweet options. On my first visit I picked up a berry and white chocolate muffin which was fabulous. I’ve also tried their banana bread muffin which was really good too, both are baked in house.

The Noglu team has even mastered the famous Levain NY Bakery cookies. It’s a chocolate walnut cookie with a crispy exterior and a gooey centre. Be sure to ask for it warmed up, it’s amazing!

Oh and I forgot to mention, you can get matcha hotcakes.

Matcha hotcakes by noglu essendon topped with ganache and fresh fruits.
Matcha hotcakes

The matcha pancakes were soooo good. Super soft and fluffy, not crazy sweet. The white choc ganache on top is done with a ricotta so it’s got this delicate richness to it, but again not the cloying sweetness that you can get with white chocolate. So nicely balanced and of course it looks absolutely gorgeous!

My husband had been worried about something so sweet for breakfast but you could easily do this and not have a sugar come down an hour later.

All-round approval

Reservations are often necessary at the weekend and it’s great to see Noglu so busy. I think the key to their success is of course their stellar menu. However, it is underpinned by an excellent choice of gluten free bread.

Rather than using a supermarket gluten free bread the Noglu team use Melbourne-based Roundtable sourdough. Roundtable sourdough is from the team at Eat Canolli, it’s a delicious sourdough good enough to forget that it’s gluten free.

Pulled pork

It’s really important to get the bread right. Why? Because good bread means that people who aren’t gluten free will enjoy it. You might wonder why you need non-GF folk to like gluten free bread, well it helps sustain the business. An exclusively gluten-free business cannot survive on coeliac clientele alone.

If you’re a big fan of Roundtable you’ll be happy to know you buy it from Noglu once a week, very handy if you live in the Essendon area.

The verdict

There’s so much joy when a gluten free venue opens and even more when you realise it’s in your part of the city! Even better when it’s all done so well. You can see why Nuglu has five stars on Google Maps, it really is that good.

I hope my article (and photos) have inspired to you check them out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Visit NoGlu Essendon

Location: 47 Rose Street, Essendon.

Opening times: Monday – Friday, 0700 to 1500hrs. Saturday – Sunday, 0800 to 1400hrs.

Be sure to check their Instagram account for the latest menu offerings and opening times.

Looking for more gluten free food in Melbourne? Check out Hesi Jimbo or have a browse through my pocket guide to Melbourne.

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