Hot in the City: Good Brother finds its brojo and hits its stride

Michelle Taylor 24 November 2020

Good things happen over good food. When a customer frequents a café or restaurant, inexorably a relationship forms. The lives of that regular and the owner or server become intertwined and sometimes magic happens. Good Brother’s story is one of interwoven lives and perfect timing.

Deep in the crook of Woolley Street, behind Kimchi and Mozzarella and Co, Good Brother café is busy serving tradies and other early risers great coffee, egg and bacon rolls, and other breakfast staples from 6:00 in the morning. The morning papers are spread out across a sun-dappled wooden table, brightened with a vase of flowers. It feels as welcoming and homey as the thud, hiss and aroma of brewing coffee coming from behind the counter.

The strong connection between this café and the brother duo who now own it underpins its success.

Good Brother's fresh fruit juices

Good Brother’s fresh fruit juices and a spring salad are on the menu.

Co-owner Matt says, “I had been coming to Good Brother for around seven years. Most Saturdays, we would text ‘GBs at 8!’ to the entire family, all the siblings and Mum and Dad. It was our meeting place. Over time, the owner came to know us well and he had approached us about potentially buying Good Brother”.

The eventual timing of the purchase couldn’t have been more perfect.

Luke, chef, co-owner and Matt’s older brother explains, “I’d been in hospitality as a career chef for 20 years. I’d honed my skills in my 20s at some of Melbourne’s dining institutions, but I was burnt out. I quit hospitality on a Friday. I was done. In fact, I was going to be a plumber’s labourer with my brother Matt. Then Matt rang me the Monday after I quit and said ‘Good Brother is for sale. It’s the right price – let’s do it!’”

The brothers received the keys the following Saturday and began the process of making Good Brother their own, right away.

“We did a quick 10-day renovation, including new lighting, a deep clean and a lick of paint.”

They have certainly brightened up the place and, while keeping the best-loved items from the original menu, they have made some delicious additions.

Good Brother’s range of toasties has been integral to the cafe since it opened back in 2013. These much-loved toasties have received a creative makeover and you can find them ready to go in the glass cabinet.

“But we do more than just toasties,” Luke says. “There are lots of new burger options. We make everything besides the bread and the cheese in house.”

A hearty big brekky has also joined the menu.

Luke says that the massive crumbed chicken burger is a hit, and he has debuted a spicy pork belly burger topped with house-made kimchi that is very popular, but it’s worth return visits to try the reimagined Reuben as well as the chicken baguette.

Chicken burger

The oversized and scrumptious chicken burger.

This balance between old and new seems to be successful. Not only is Good Brother attracting new customers, but Luke says “We seem to have kept all the regulars”.

When it comes to coffee beans, Good Brother uses the sustainable and ethically sound Campos Coffee, known and loved for its full-bodied flavour.

For my brunch, I choose an original staple and a new burger. First, the famous egg and bacon roll. This is my favourite egg and bacon roll to date. Unadorned by any additional toppings that might mess with its classic taste sensation, this breakfast staple looks simple yet it is delicious, so moreish and satisfying. Maybe it is the house-made sauce that elevates and enhances the flavour. Who knows? I prefer not knowing.

Egg and bacon burger

The egg and bacon burger is simple flavours done with finesse.

Good Brother’s chicken burger is oversized. Two golden oh-so-crunchy chicken portions, fresh lettuce, mayo and house-pickled jalapeños are encased in a soft sourdough bun. Tender yet crispy, with a hit of lemon in there, this delectable burger hits the spot.

Which menu item would you choose?

Good Brother is located at 1/20 Challis Street in Dickson.

It is open from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday and from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.

Follow Good Brother on Facebook and Instagram. The cafe has created an app so that you can easily place your order ahead of time and skip the wait. Find the free Good Brother app in your app store. (The video at the top of the article was created by Good Shout).


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