Flovie, a new cafe and florist has opened in Carlton, bringing an Asian-fusion menu and freshly cut flowers to the tree-lined Queensberry Street. The venue will offer breakfast, lunch, coffee and unique floral arrangements.
It’s the second venture for co-owner Jia Wang, who also operates White Mojo. Flovie was born from a partnership he formed with White Mojo’s florist, Valerie Wang (not related).
“We work well together because we specialise in different sides of the business,” says Jia Wang. “Valerie is very creative and manages the florist and interior details of the cafe, while I pride myself in operations and being the head barista. Opening a multipurpose space where we could combine our passions for food, coffee, and flowers was the perfect match.”
At the helm of the kitchen is Japanese-Filipino head chef, Hiroshi Okuda. Signature menu items include the cold soba and crab meat served with crispy tofu in a ginger soy dressing, pickled carrots, cucumber, coriander, sesame, lime and fried shallots, alongside Chinese BBQ char sui pulled pork with eggs benedict served with a vibrant orange mandarin hollandaise, panfried mandou (Chinese steamed bun), fresh cucumber and fried shallots.
Sweet options include black forest souffle hotcakes served with a tart cherry compote, chocolate creme anglaise, cherry chocolate ganache, mascarpone chantilly and chocolate soil, as well as French toast Casserole with coconut puree, coconut crumb, fresh berries, vanilla ice cream, vanilla syrup and butterfly pea essence caviar.
The drinks menu pays homage to Flovie’s floral theme with the rose tea latte with roasted pistachio and coconut milk and butterfly pea latte with vanilla, sea salt and soy milk. ‘Perfume’ mocktails named after Disney films – Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Frozen — are topped with edible flowers and served with mineral water filled perfume bottles and potion bottles containing 100 percent natural floral extracts which customers can pour into their drinks. Jia Wang will be pouring White Mojo coffee.
The double fronted, two-storey Victorian terrace exterior is painted lilac purple, with the entrance bordered by floral bouquets featuring rare varieties such as cotton flowers and imported orchids. Hanging floral garlands and dried foliage adorn the exposed brick wall. “The space really comes alive with the flowers,” says Valerie Wang. “We’ve made an effort to consider every inch of the space as an opportunity to showcase our flowers.”
The design incorporates contemporary and antique pieces. A large haberdashery pigeon hole cabinet is used for displaying flowers and a German-made piano takes centre stage among hanging candle chandeliers that hold dried roses, all juxtaposed with the large custom-made granite coffee station serving drinks on one end and Valerie’s floral workshop on the other. Pendant lighting made from recycled plumbing pipes and industrial timber display shelves accentuate the building’s lofty ceiling.