WHO says there’s such a thing as the wrong side of the tracks?

Sure, it’s over the railway line down the Dandenong Road end of Koornang Road, near the Rosstown Hotel and away from the heart of the shopping strip that is home to some of the area’s favourite eateries, such as Huff Bagelry, Figjam, Auntie’s Dumpling and Shyun, but it’s already making a case that going that extra (figurative) mile will be worth your while.

The fitout is modern, industrial chic – polished concrete floor, contemporary furniture, banks of metal lockers, with the room anchored by a communal table. The light-shades are perforated metal boxes that are visually striking if not totally practical. No matter – windows run the length of one wall, ensuring ample light and an open, airy feel.

Magazines and newspapers are arranged on the rungs of a ladder, and salad leaves and herbs in pots are clustered around the entrance. In short, it’s pretty darn funky.

The Map coffee is excellent (a window on to Koornang Road offers takeaway options), while the service is friendly, if occasionally haphazard in that ”we’re still figuring things out” way.

All-day breakfasts run the gamut from toast and jams to generous ”smashed” avocado on sourdough combos with a swirl of balsamic syrup. For the virtuous there is house-made cereal and bowls of fresh fruit.

Focaccia rolls – the bread, cakes and pastries are made daily under contract in two offsite kitchens – encase the likes of grilled vegies, or an excellent roast chicken, chopped walnuts, avocado and lettuce number, with a little side bowl of sweet and tangy mango chutney.

The star, though, is the Platform 3 platter: French brie and a sharp cheddar with bread, house-made tzatziki, pesto and spicy capsicum dips, nicely textured chunks of marinated octopus, good olives and a half-dozen slices of salami. It’s great sharing fare.

So far, so good. Down the road from ”the action” it may be, but Platform 3 is firmly on the right track.

The Age.

Platform 3 Cafe and Tapas Bar
5/23 Koornang Road
Ph: 9572 4605