Melbourne-style cafes around the world (5)

Iceland (Reykjavik) – KEX Hostel

Previously a biscuit factory, KEX is now a restaurant, bar, hostel, travel agent, live music venue, breakfast buffet, barber shop and whatever else you want it to be. But it’s not a phallologic museum, and if that is what you’re after you’ve gone a couple blocks too far.

What makes eating (or sleeping, drinking, travelling, haircut getting, or whatever else you may be doing) unique at KEX is the design of the previously abandoned warehouse. I’m going to go with….’vintage industrial Nordic monster.’ I imagine that probably gives you a pretty good feel for the place. If however you lack imagination, take a squizz through KEX’s instagram page to get a clearer picture (ha). Unfortunately I didn’t get any good snaps during my stay there because it was winter and four hours of light a day didn’t give me time to get a decent shot. That’s how bad my photography skills are.

This is what breakfast at KEX looks like. No really, it looked exactly the same when I was there. It costs 1,450 krona, and in normal Australian monies that would be about $11. Not bad for a variety of cheeses, bread, cereal, porridge, meats, spreads and fruit salad served in a clicky jar. Worth it for the clicky jar alone. But before you say, ‘well then, Im gone come back here for my lunch and dinner needs,’ beware the prices after breakfast rise higher than the snow gathering outside (I’m trying) and the portions are skimpy because it’s one of those places (you know…). So don’t expect to leave full is all I’m saying. Also, the menu is limited. Also, don’t go there if you’re vegetarian. Actually don’t go to Iceland if you’re vegetarian.

I want to mentionthat even though this is a hostel bar/cafe/hairdresser etc etc. when staying here I found many locals also came to dine/drink here. This is a good sign.

Sister-cafe in Melbourne: While the design of this place screams Melbourne! Melbourne! Melbourne! when it comes to choosing a sister café, I’m fucking stumped. I’m going to say The Croft Institute in the CBD for novelty designs and small attention to detail, Birdman Eating in Fitzroy for the small serving sizes (but I still love) and …. The Wesley Anne for the cosy atmosphere and the dinner/live band/red winey-atmospheric atmosphere.
Very Melbourne: Please read article above. Basically, the quirky vintage design, books and vinyl to pick through and low-hanging industrial metal lights.
Not very Melbourne: two words: buffet breakfast.

a view outside KEX hostel, it's still dark
the view outside KEX. somebody hasn’t told Reykjavik it’s 11am.

Here: more images from the KEX website.


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