Sometimes people spell things in cre8ive ways to appear more exotic or smarter. Examples include Jaxon, Kwik Kopy and Limonatta. Just to be clear, it should be spelled 'limonata'. But whatever - as it turns out, the name is the least of your worries.

McKinnon is an interesting place, if by ‘interesting place’ you mean ‘inner suburban slum’. Head south and you have rollicking Centre Road, Bentleigh. Head north and you hit bustling North Road, Ormond. But McKinnon is trapped in Small Industrial RSL Land. It’s a strange mix of boarded up shop fronts, mechanics, liquor stores and bums. There are cafes on McKinnon Road (not many, mind you) that may not have been changed since the 19th century. Limonatta sticks out like a sore, tasty thumb. In theory.

It started out with all the world’s promise and naivety. We took a seat outside (came bearing dogs) and people brought us menus and water. We ordered things from said menus. So far so good. Then it started to rain, and the only outdoor shelter was next to the ‘wall hole’, through which coffees are passed to commuters.

And meals are passed to patrons, apparently. Each time a meal was cooked, the waitress plopped it on the window sill and said, “Your eggs/muffin/sandwich is ready!” and I had to stand up, walk over and pick it up myself, like a pauper! And being that all of our drinks and meals arrived at different times, I did this no less than six times. Bizarre.

This was my meal, slightly coagulated after all the standing and walking. At first glance, this looks okay, right? The eggs are glossy, the mushrooms are seasony, the avocado comes in its own little glass and there’s a smiley face in the bread. Tee hee! But then it comes into focus. What previously appeared to be eggs could now be:

Hint: it’s D) really poorly cooked eggs. They’ve been cooked in egg rings in shallow water (see how the edges are kind of dried out?), and if that isn’t the surest way to ruin an egg I don’t know what is. The mushrooms were burnt, but cold, which is confounding. “Shit, you guys, we burnt the mushrooms! Run them under cold water!” The avocado was fine, and of course the glass made a nice clinking sound as I smashed it with my knife.

It looks like someone's been out puncturing lamb's eyes.

On the whole, there’s not much I can say that’s very positive about Limonatta’s food or service. We served ourselves, ate average food, then paid $2 for the privilege of getting cash out to pay for it all. McKinnon remains, it would seem, a dark patch in the otherwise lovely inner south-eastern suburbs.

Anna Spargo-Ryan

About Anna Spargo-Ryan

I'm Anna and by day I am a digital strategist, running around town strategising heaps of digitals. By night and occasionally morning, I eat things, write things, berate my children, walk my dogs and hug my chocolate. Find me on Twitter | Get some digital


  1. Hannah

    Poached eggs that come out looking like that never fail to freak me the F out. Ugh.

    That said, I’ve always thought that the most delicious mushrooms are those that have been soaked in cold water. Yeah.

    • Anna


      So they’re cold when you eat them? How interesting!

      I just like a mushroom that’s been soaked in, well, butter, garlic and onion ;) That’s still healthy, yes?

  2. millionsofmyles

    You’re right. McKinnon is a dark patch for breakfast in the South East. It’s sad as Limonatta started well. 

    I encourage you to try/review Mr Burch. This cafe has been around a few years but is a shining light in the McKinnon darkness. So much so family comes from Bentleigh East and Brighton to dine there.

    • annaspargoryan


      Yes, I plan to! I haven’t been to Mr Burch for at least a couple of years, but I drive past nearly every morning and it’s always hopping.

    • Anna


      Yes, I plan to! I haven’t been to Mr Burch for at least a couple of years, but I drive past nearly every morning and it’s always hopping.

  3. LivesInMckinnon

    What sort of a snobby cow are you? Inner suburban slum? What a marvelous way to insult all the people who live here. Do you think you could possibly rate the cafe without the disparaging comments towards the locals, none of whom I might add contributed to your poor breakfast experience!

    I’m guessing you live somewhere fabulously trendy such as Elwood or StKilda East, where so many other lonely single people live in their clichéd lives, and you make yourself feel better by leaving pithy comments about others who aren’t just like you. Do us a favor, stay there.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      Ooh, I’m afraid you’re mistaken – I live in the south-east too, with my family of four and my dogs, and lived in the Bentleigh/McKinnon area for a good number of years.

      I like McKinnon very much, and it FEELS like the kind of place that should offer more in terms of breakfasting. Mr Burch is part of the way there, but it is crying out for a gorgeous little place like a Fress or a Red Robyn.

      No slights on the locals in this post bar the bums, which of course really do loiter in those streets. The “dark spot” refers only to the food.