East-side brunch series: Coffeehead & Goldilocks
Part 1 of east-side brunch series…
With the summer months on our doorstep, it is time to bring on the lazy weekend brunches and enjoy the weather! This month I will bring to you a mini-hunt of Melbourne’s east-side for the most worthy brunch delectables.
Some of the delectables to expect in coming posts include sipping an exceptional coffee at Coffeehead (Camberwell), indulging in a French breakfast at La Flaneur (Hawthorn), be stolen by the creative punchy bites at Breakfast thieves (Fitzroy), or taking a break from gluten and allergies at Red Robyn (Camberwell).
Side tracking a little, I realise that many of those I will review in this series are relatively new to the block. It goes to show the café scene continues to grow rapidly, almost too quick to keep up with. This really makes one speculate on how sustainable such exponential growth would be, each vying for the same mouths to fill their chairs. Sure, the fierce competition means for great variety and options, but there is only so much each person can eat (this admittedly coming from someone with a bottomless pit) and no doubt there will be an inevitable Darwinian culling process, where we will lose some of our favourite dining venues. But we are the café capital are we not?
Where: 8-10 Railway Parade, Camberwell
Contact: 03 9831 1400
When: breakfast / lunch 7 days.
Of the bagillion new places (including Sharing House and Akachochin; Henry and the Fox) opened by Paul Mathis in the past year here in Melbourne, this is one I truly love. It is named Coffeehead (rightly so), with an extensive selection of beans / brands, and excellent brewing. I’ve read that Mathis intends to eventually stock a crazy “…100 brands of coffee, coffee-making equipment, and to showcase every conceivable method of coffee brewing…” [Weekly Review] which is quite ambitious to say the least. We’ll see how that pans out.
The 1961 house blend is velvety smooth, fruity in nature, completed with notes of rum and raisin. It is a well-rounded blend you can enjoy again and again. I certainly have. The Gridlock blend (roaster: 65 Degrees) carried a heavier butterscotch and caramel sweetness, flanked with a blueberry fragrance. Coffee is undoubtedly a strong point here.
A lunchtime ragu with penne was a luscious winner of a pasta creation, sure to satisfy the tastebuds with moist flesh, al dente penne and a well caramelised stock based sauce.
A simple toast with poached eggs and avocado.
Poached eggs, Hollandaise, smoked salmon and corn fritters – had all the right flavours going for it. If not for the fritters being slightly on the drier side, it would have been a perfect brunch item.
Brioche French toast– sounded fabulous with the addition of nutella, peanut butter and fresh banana, but overall a little on the dry side, and lacked some acidity. There was however popping candy just to make the little kid inside full of joy.
Also tried was a serve of Bolognaise on toast – which was never meant to be.
Food: Yummy+0.5. The food is generally of high standards, but can at times be haphazardly hit-or-miss.
Coffee: almost Yummy+2. Best coffee of the East-side brunch series. Diverse beans and choice roasts, impeccable brew.
A quick mention of Goldilocks.
I had fairly high expectation coming to the sister cafe of Coffeehead: Goldilocks, another of Paul Mathis’ ventures in Melbourne this year. It is by no means a tragic failure, but I was regrettably far less impressed. The brunch-fare was less inspiring and tended to err on the heavier side. And coffee was not nearly as strong a focal point despite also using Coffeehead coffee. With the same owner behind the scenes, I sure hope the cracks will be ironed out soon.
Where: 169 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East
Contact: 03 9831 1799
When: breakfast / lunch 7 days.
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