In my old(er) age, I find myself more frequently confounded by The Youth of Today. Sometimes people recommend places for me to eat, and I go there and find myself at a place that I am certain is just a series of Instagram photos stuck together. Today I had that experience at Tyranny of Distance, but it is in all ways a reflection on me and not it. I thought that wearing my Barbie shoe earrings would get me through. No sir. And before you get all twisted panties on me, read to the end.
My first inkling that I was, as they say in the movies, not in Kansas anymore, was just generally being in Windsor. I know this from many years of going to Windsor whilst wearing a Rip Curl hoodie (unironically) or listening to Shaggy (unironically) or just generally doing things in an unironic way. I am not Windsor material. At a stretch, I am Elwood material, as we discussed.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be a Windsorian, and take my Holga camera to breakfast and have a Foster the People tattoo and smoke clove cigarettes and wear outfits manufactured entirely before 1975. But I am not. And I find those who are confronting and intimidating.
“But look, I have a Mac!” I tried pleading with them, looking for any kind of recognition.
“Consumerist fucks,” they muttered into their skinny lattes.
I actually felt too perky for Tyranny of Distance, and if you know me you will right now be spitting your drink at the screen at the very notion. You can smoke in the enclosed indoor/outdoor bit here, so what inevitably happens is that you end up sitting in a cloud of disdain created by people who actually don’t speak to each other for the duration of the coffee they stretch out over a couple of miserable hours.
I’m going to get all serious marketing professional for a minute, and because of the above reasons I don’t know how to say it without offending Snakadaktal fans. It’s just that the thing is, the staff and the food were perfect. The waitress was gorgeous and attentive, and she served me quickly and cheerfully. And the meal I had … well, I’ll let this photo speak for itself.
The eggs were perfectly poached. The bacon was perfectly fried. The guacamole had exactly the right amount of tartness to it without being overpowering. The potato rosti was soft and beautifully seasoned. And the serving was enormous. The only problem I had with the food was the fact that it came with slices of tomato that weren’t on the menu, and I don’t like tomato. A minor complaint. It was scrumptious. Everything was so lovely that I rather wondered why all these sour people had decided to eat there.
And so I had a conversation with myself about brand perception, and how the people who consume your brand are in fact the ones that cultivate, nurture and ultimately shape your brand. So for Tyranny of Distance, I guess their choice of location (Windsor) and even building (very indie ex-lubritorium) gave life to the bored indie brand. Now, maybe that was their intention, and that’s completely fine. But it seemed a bit of a shame to me, because their approach to customer service and to food has the potential for such broad appeal.
It was almost indie in spite of itself.
Anyway, serious hat back on the hat rack, I probably won’t go back to Tyranny of Distance, but if it opens a sister cafe somewhere more in the Armadale, Malvern, Glen Iris area I will be all over it.