Sunday, October 19, 2008

I want to link to your blog!

Hey everybody.
I haven't updated my blogroll for over a year now and I know there are lots more wonderful Melbourne Food blogs around these days. So, if you would like your Melbourne food blog to be added to my blogroll, please just leave your details and blog address in a comment on this post and I'll add you to my links.

Also, if you're an international blog and have linked to my page, also let me know and I'll add you too!

The Breakfast Club

206 St Georges Road, Northcote, 3070. Phone 0450 581 494

I did see the movie a long time ago, although I wasn't one of those people that fell in love with it. I was more of your Karate Kid, kind of guy. A movie about detention, just didn't appeal to me. What does appeal to me however, is good food and the cafe named after the movie does just this.

The Breakfast Club cafe on busy St George's Rd is small. Very small. There's barely room to stretch out your legs, but there's just enough room for my tummy to expand after eating their yummy food. The music is grungey rock, the coffee machine is making itself heard, the ordering is done at the counter. Although, the place is so small you could just tell the girl behind the counter from your seat what you're after.

No printed menus. I hate this. So annoying. Everyone seems to be doing it these days. Is it an effort to become environmentally concious, cool, or just cutting costs? Lucky me, chose a seat directly under the blackboard, so i almost had to lie horizontally backwards to read it.

The menu is quirky, some other items that looked interesting was the Bananarama - banana, cream cheese, cinnamon and honey on sourdough toast and Nutella if you like. There was also the Ringwald, a brie and quince paste melt with basil on sourdough toast. Yummy

I ordered the Bircher Muesli- Oats, thick yoghurt, grated granny smith, toasted coconut, hazlenuts all drizzled with sweet honey. Just the thing I needed after my morning run.

The English Breakfast tea, comes served in an old fashioned tea pot complete with Nanna's tea cosy. While tea cosy's are cute - it's slightly embarressing for a single guy, flying solo for breakfast, drinks his tea with a lovely tea cosy.

The staff are pleasant, but also seem about as excited to be at work on a Sunday as any of us would be. Still, a smile would be nice. The Breakfast Club is busy and seems to be well liked by the locals... I can see why. I'd go back, just maybe next time, I wouldn't sit so close to the menu and i'd probably order the Bananarama and my tea minus the cosy.

Friday, October 17, 2008


69 Victoria St, Fitzroy Ph 9417 3788

A frustrated morning of wandering to and from my favourite Fitzroy cafes only to find they're full and there's a wait on a table. I was flying solo that morning and still couldn't find a seat. It was the day after Grand Final day and I had left it too late to go out for breakfast. If you go out, usually before 10am, usually you can avoid the tourists from the 'burbs and get a table. Then I remembered a place a friend recommended to me, just off Brunswick St, in a new trendy apartment block. The cafe is called Shire.

It was the day after Grand Final day and the place was full of hungover trendies, looking a little worse for wear, telling tales of Grand Final night drunkeness. But Shire didn't disappoint. They have chairs and tables in nooks all over the place, so a table for one it was. The room is suprisingly spacious and cosy at the same time.

The breakfast menu is large- spanning two pages. Organic sourdough, free range googies, omlettes and muesli all look attractive. However, I think most of the people already there were ordering the greasiest breakfast they could find.

I went with boring, old eggs benedict (12.90). Only it wasn't boring. Well, it was your standard eggs benedict, but it was delicious! My only problem with it, was that there was a slight taste of vinegar - I'm not sure if this was the eggs - from the poaching liquid (in case you don't know, vinegar helps the whites set nicely), but it could also have been in the sauce. But I'm probably being a bit picky here. It really was tasty. I usually don't order eggs benedict - that much butter in the morning always makes me feel a bit queezy, but not this time! Nicely done! I liked them so much, I ordered them again, the next time I went back.

Service at Shire is nice and friendly and very prompt, no hassles with waiting too long for my food or tea, or anything like that. All in all, a very nice place and one that I'm glad I got a seat at.
Did I mention their floor is made from an old bowling alley? Now all you trendies and hipsters can have an excuse to wear your $300 Campers bowling shoes to breakfast.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pearl Cafe

599 Church St, Richmond Ph 03 9427 1307 - Website

Wikipedia says that disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.

Never have I been as disappointed as when I visited Pearl Cafe.

I had been waiting months for Pearl Cafe to open, as apparently they had lots of problems with opening, so it was delayed for quite some time after the originally announced date of opening.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Pearl restaurant, it's in my top 3 favourite Melbourne restaurants, so with the news of Pearl Cafe opening and the return of their famous breakfasts, it's fair to say that I was excited!

The first time I visited Pearl Cafe for breakfast, I was instantly hit with disappointment and I hadn't even been served my meal yet. It turns out that they stop serving breakfast at 11am and we arrived right on 11! So at 11am, we had to order from the lunch menu. What is this, McDonalds? What sort of place in inner city Melbourne, especially one as respected as Pearl, doesn't serve all day breakfast - or at least breakfast until 2 or 3? I think the reason behind this, is the fact that as far as I'm aware, most of the food is prepared down the road at the actual Pearl restaurant and just headed onsite at the cafe. I know this because I saw a guy wheeling a tray of coddled eggs down the street as I was leaving.

So, that day I ended up ordering a somewhat dry and very average Macaroni and Cheese for what I guess you would call brunch. If it was my cafe, I wouldn't be putting this on the menu, if it was served everyday like this. Unless, I just got it on a bad day.

A few weeks later I returned (early this time!) for breakfast. At the Pearl restaurant, when they used to serve breakfast, they used to serve this amazing coddled egg on a cube of toasted bread, with Y.V. Salmon Roe. Delicious. So, when I saw coddled eggs on the menu again - I was quick to order. There are a few different options of Coddled Eggs on the menu, I went with the Coddled Eggs with wild and picked mushrooms.

The eggs were delivered tome at my seat at the big communal table in a little ceramic pot used especially for egg coddling. Let me describe the eggs to you. On top, they were still clear and very raw. At the bottom they were very overcooked and solid. Amongst the dry and uncooked egg was a single field mushroom - which could have very well have been handpicked from Coles down the road. There were no wild mushroom in my coddled eggs! The person I was with, couldn't believe I was actually eating what I was served. You know what? Thinking about it now, either can I.

If the food is always this bad coming out of this place - this is going to tarnish Pearl's good name - it has to. If people go there to try the cheaper version before they try the real thing - they're definately not going to try the real thing - i know I wouldn't have.

Oh, another thing - their tea strainers are woven like a little cane basket, they look very nifty, but they don't strain anything!! There are gaps in the weaving and your tea leaves run through. As Rove would say.... What the??