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Words by Hayley | May 21, 2015

Rudimentary is the new kid on the Footscray block. The cafe, a short stroll from the train station, opened just a couple of months ago but already has the locals buzzing due to its unusual exterior. Rudimentary is a cafe created from three shipping containers on a former car park. Although the owner, Desmond Huynh said the premise behind the container concept was that the cafe could be moved if needed, Rudimentary looks pretty permanent and Feast hope it remains that way.

Don’t worry, the interior is just as pleasing as the cafe’s outside, with a clean and minimalist aesthetic. The open kitchen is a great concept as customers are able to watch the chefs (Shane Donelly and Thomas Ainslie) at work. The favourite addition, however would have to be the use of mismatched swivel chairs at each table. The look seems to be a nod to owner Desmond’s background in architecture and design, who designed Rudimentary alongside local architect, Richard Denby.

Small Batch coffee is served but a hot chocolate was ordered instead, which was warming without being too sweet. Rudimentary has an all day menu, plus an additional menu from 11am. It was difficult to look past the pork belly, which was braised with crispy pig’s ear, chilli and tamarind, two fried eggs and a side of toast. This is one of those meals you will be unable to forget for a very long time.

The pork meat was delicious and perfectly complemented by the eggs and tamarind. Although pig’s ear had never been consumed before, the crisp texture added a different, but just as delectable, element to the meal. The cafe focuses on sustainability and customers can actually see pieces of the meal, including the chillies, growing outside before they end up on the plate.

 The other dish sampled was the Housemade Buttermilk Waffles with maple, pancetta, quince and quark. The meal usually includes fig rather than quince, but nonetheless the lunch was enjoyable. The sweet/savoury combination, particularly maple syrup and bacon, is a regular meal on North American menus. Although quark is not a common ingredient, be reassured that it is similar in consistency and taste to Greek yoghurt.

Other meals on the menu that looked particularly interesting were the seafood scramble, which included prawn and crab with picked vegetables and watercress. The smoked brisket, kimchi and asiago bun also sounds like a worthwhile combination.

Rudimentary seems like it would be great as a summertime cafe when the container doors remain open and customers can sit outside in the turfed garden area. Desmond said he chose the name Rudimentary due to its “raw appeal” as that was the look and feel he wanted for the cafe. However, once you visit Feast thinks you will agree that there is nothing rudimentary about Footscray’s new cafe.