A short hike from The Barracks, the old Chinaman's Shop has converted into Scout Cafe, a charming rustic cafe, the kind of laid back Beatles-playing, dog-welcoming, pyjama-wearing joint everyone wishes they had at the end of their street.
Inside the 1920s brick walls have been hand scraped back to show their layers of history, there's a scattering of pot plants and hand crafted wooden furniture. Patrons get to sit in the front room whose bay windows overlook the historic triangle of Hardgrave Park or the back room featuring a communal table and fireplace.
Despite the casual vibe food here is top notch, with a small changeable menu of light breakfasts and lunches supplemented by home-baking (such as mini muffins) by one of the owners. For breakfasts expect deliciousness like herb scrambled eggs, spice chorizo, smoked chutney and rocket bagels, Welsh Rarebit with mushrooms or ricotta filled carrot and date loaf.
Coffee Supreme (Melbourne roasted) lives up to its name and there is fresh juice or other cold drinks available. Meanwhile there's a water bowl out front for thirsty dogs and a bench for tying them up.
Lunch is a sandwich style affair with offerings such as the perfect chicken sandwich – poached chicken with cucumber and mayo on white – or ham, calebrese and pickled cucumber bagels.