Serotonin (not the neurotransmitter)

Serotonin (n.)- A phenolic amine neurotransmitter C10H12N2O that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum and mucous membranes of mammals.

I’m surprised the dictionary definition lacks one of the most vital functions of Serotonin- a hormone used to regulate sleep, appetite + digestion, memory, and most importantly, MOOD.

It’s the happy hormones! (aside from the ones that you get after some hard core chest presses or HIIT cardio or something up in the gym, that’s another different story).

Pretty sure many of us (or at least I do, fo’ surree) need a HUGE jab of this hormone, at least for sleep and mood purposes anyway (something to whisk away the hanger and these massive Gucci eye bags on my face right about now).

Now before you click away thinking this is yet another Chemistry tutorial, please don’t, because this has nothing to do with Chemistry.

Serotonin is a biological hormone, but it IS also a pretty dang cool name for a hip, contemporary cafe tucked away neatly in the surburban streets of Burnley (subtly in Richmond, but it’s literally next to Burnley Station).

This cafe oozes molecules of chic and simple style, adorned with elegant indoor lighting and floral, plant-y centerpieces.

Yet it’s not just your typical minimalistic, Ikea catalogue look-the cafe also holds its own little quirks- tiled tessellations for walls, conical flasks and beakers for water and sugar storage, and my personal favourite- every table has its own specie of cacti nestled snugly in its own geometrical pot.

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After alighting the train and getting a little bit lost  (as with my sense of direction, i’m sorry Surina for making you walk under the blazing sun too), boy were we glad to finally step into Serotonin.

What made us even MORE glad was the fact that we were offered places at the cafe’s swing seats- the next defining feature aside from its menu.

That’s right, my two girlfriends and I were seated on large, gentle, wooden swings, suspended cleanly from the ceiling. We overlooked the street, facing a large open window that allowed natural elements to seep in. One could feel the nostalgia of outdoor childhood play, just minus the pinching, chafing feeling of a harsh rubber seat and the strange metallic smells of the playground chains.

And just like a little child on the swings, I was hit with a thrill- a thrill of finding something that belonged outside so organically and wittily placed indoors, complementing and somewhat revolutionising my cafe experience.

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Today we just ordered drinks- a gingerbread latte, a green bluice and a fruit bluice.

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I’d dare say Serotonin could be the only place in Melbourne where your coffee graces you with a smile that you unconciously give it on first glance.

The menu offers a wide variety of plant based dishes and drinks, all carefully crafted with wholesome, nutritious ingredients to leave your serotonin levels peakin’ and your intestines smiling (clean, unprocessed eating is always key).

Today’s bluice (a blended juice) for me was Green- complete with kale, banana, mint, granny smith (apples) and lemon, topped with slices of chia coated apple, large dessiccated coconut flakes, a hunk of lemon, and a velvety piece of raw kale.

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Chia-seed coated apple slices securely strung through a smoothie straw? HELL YEAH!
For all a smoothie mason jar/glass, this is actually a really good idea. Away with precarious floating of extra fruit and toppings on the surface of a painfully cramped little opening and goodbye messy spills all over the table before that perfect Instagram shot can be taken.

The only thing I wasn’t so sure about was the piece raw kale- was I meant to eat that? (ate it anyway)

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A mellow, cool wind caressed our faces like a new kabuki brush as we swung lightly, sipping on our beverages. The sunlight lit the cafe softly, exuding authentic summer vibes.

In the background, small chatter of affluent cafe visitors and sizzles from the kitchen window gently overlaid the whimsical zen soundtrack that played. Time seemed to slow to a calming speed as the swing I was perched on moved rhythmically in time with the light breeze.

People came in groups, pairs and singulars, relaxed with drink in hand, leisurely reading and holding casual conversations.  I couldn’t have asked for better company- basking in the unique atmosphere of this cafe in the presence of my two beloved gal pals, speaking about anything under the sun (after cute snapchats and photos) was the true highlight of my Serotonin experience (thank you for tolerating me and taking photos for this).

As far pricing goes, well, it is your typical Melbournian brunch place after all. Do be prepared to cut into your dollars a little bit, but hey, swing seats and nerdy decor!

Not a bad place to swing by for a dose of happy hormones.

Visit Serotonin at 52 Madden Grove, Burnley VIC 3121 😀

Oh yeah they were also filming an episode of Postcards, a travel/lifestyle (?) series on Channel 9. I believe that’s Shane Crawford there with his back to us.

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