Fading Memories of Brunch
As mentioned previously, there are many places that I’ve visited before starting this blog that I’d like to talk about. I’ll try my best to remember what I can from these places before I forget about them completely, thus my comments will be quite succinct.
Twenty and Six Espresso: 594 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
A casual little cafe on Queensberry St, Twenty and Six Espresso contrasts this simplicity with their menu. I can’t vouch for their current menu but back during university days they had some impressive feats including The Hunter ($18.90, below).
This included portobello mushrooms, chorizo with creme fraiche and black truffle oil on sourdough. It tasted good but it was more the presentation that provided the ‘wow’ factor, the ‘hunter’ theme enforced by the appearance of cob webs through the forest.
I chose the Le Amulelle ($19.90), a three egg omelette with smoked salmon, caramelised leek, salad and beetroot ketchup. My friend much preferred my omelette which was delicious and beautifully balanced with a fennel and dill salad.
Tom Phat: 184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Tom Phat, as its name kind of indicates, serves Asian inspired food all day including breakfast food. Now some of these things might seem weird to have for breakfast, but some of them might seem normal to Asian people (eg. grilled pork chop on rice, sticky rice).
Their coffee was okay but not anything special, but at least they provided some nice latte art. What I remember most vividly from this experience was that their service was very lousy – slow in seating us and forgetful in serving us whilst we sat outside.
Despite this, the food was pretty good. My friend had the Good Morning Mr Phat Brekky with free-range eggs, bacon, Andrew’s Choice Cumberland sausage, tomato, mushrooms, potato hash & hollandaise on Noisette mulitgrain ($21.90, below). I believe the problem with this was that it wasn’t too special compared to other big breakfasts.
Similarly to Twenty and Six Espresso, the better of the meals was the omelette. I had the Asian Omelette with prawns & pork, herbs, shoots & baguette ($15.90, below). I reckon the presentation could be improved and the baguette was a bit hard and difficult to eat but the meal was very filling.
Unfortunately, my mind associates Tom Phat more with bad service. Perhaps in the future, I’ll consider it more for their dinner menu but because of this I’m a bit dubious about trying it again.
Green Refectory: 115 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Down the road from Tom Phat, you’ll find the hipster hangout of Green Refectory. It’s hard to identify where it actually is until you see their “Illy” coffee sign and it’s cramped to even walk through the cafe past the counter when it’s during peak hours.
The problem is mainly caused by:
1) Only being able to see the menu on the blackboard at the counter
2) The fact that you have to line up to order your food
So you can imagine the chaos that ensues. The first time I had a breakfast burrito with scambled eggs, ham, mushrooms, tomato with oregano and parsley in a tortilla ($10).
We were in a large group so unfortunately everyone got their food first whilst my best friend and I waited extra long for our breakfast burritos. The burrito was large and worth the cheap price, but as the burrito name suggests the Mexican influence means it was quite cheesy, which isn’t mentioned on the menu.
Another time I had the Big Breakfast ($15.50, above) and this time the service was a bit better and the meal came out in a reasonable time. Once again the meal was quite worth the price, and this indicates the appeal of this place.
Despite the compactness, and the trouble of lining up, this place is cheap compared to other fancy, brunch places. Thus here you’ll find the hipster crowds, students and anyone looking for a reasonably priced meal. It just means that shouldn’t expect the service and quality of the higher end cafes in Melbourne.