Mira Ve Cafe

Jackie McMillan
3rd Jan 2024

Living next door to the birthplace of cacao, Ecuador, Colombian people are serious about chocolate. Hot chocolate with cheese — chocolate santafereño ($6.50) — enhances the flavours of the chocolate by adding a bit of salt. We tried it at Mira Ve Cafe in Carlton, though the cheese they chose seemed curiously impervious to heat. 

The cafe’s mostly outdoor tables are widely spaced around a corner spot in a sleepy shopping strip in Carlton running alongside the railway. The strip caters to its multicultural locals with a European deli, a spice shop, and a barber shop filled with excited young men. At Mira Ve Cafe, the crowd includes numerous tables of South Americans locals, here to eat arepas and stock up on products that remind them of their birth countries. You’ll find a freezer full of arepas and shelves of dry goods inside. 

We try a corn meal arepa and a fried beef empanada in a dish called tiburona ($22). The two items are separated by a smear of oxidised smashed avocado, sliced tomato and a generous mound of too-sweet-for-me pulled pork. Montañero ($35) is the priciest item on the menu but with side plates it could easily be shared. It’s a huge earthenware dish of rice and beans, scrambled eggs, a white corn flour arepa draped in grilled cheese (proving that with sufficient heat, it does indeed become runny), Rodriguez Bros chorizo and morcilla, and fried sweet plantain fritters. The highlight of this dish was the charred strips of steak, generously coated in a coriander-based salsa.

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Shop 4/40 Carlton Parade
+61 411 256 454

Mon – Fri 6am – 4pm

Sat – Sun 7am – 4pm