East-side brunch series: Breakfast-thieves versus Robyn-hood?

Part 3 of east-side brunch series…

I remember I used to follow quite a few more brunch-oriented blogs trying to keep up with the never ending new kids to our food scene, but with so little time to spare, I have been doing much less of the scouring and gravitated instinctively towards a select few blogs with particular niches, writing styles and visual grace to offer me inspiration. Limiting my options? Possibly. But making my life easier? Yes for sure.

The first east-side brunch spot for today goes proudly to the “100% gluten free and allergy friendly” Red Robyn. Generally speaking (a very very large generalisation) with gluten free, the first invoked words are of stodge and distaste, likely a consequence of all the negative experiences. Once all those ingredients that make food glorious are sequestered from the menu – i.e. gluten, lactose, fructose, nuts, meats – then it is hard to imagine a luring meal. But there are always exceptions are there not?

red robyn

Secluded down a much less known about stretch of Camberwell road, Red Robyn takes their concept seriously, carefully ear-marking all items with the relevant stamps of allergen-friendliness. The food is hardly half-hearted, beaming with energy like the adorable red and white robins seen all around the space.


Red Robyn Breakfast (gluten and fructose free), with oven roasted cherry tomatoes and smoky mushrooms, spinach and home-made hummus in herbed polenta nest. The mushrooms are moist, tomatoes sweet, but the polenta nest though crispy and golden, rings bare murmurs on the palate, and leaves a grainy effect. A small bump in the road…

red robyn2

That aside, we should jump right into the most raved about dish: Sweet potato rosti. At the base of this small tower lies golden rosti, with a velvety smooth almost pumpkin-aroma like filling. Layers of flavour from the grilled haloumi, sautéed spinach and lush house-cured salmon, makes for a delicious way to start the day. The alternative option alongside the rosti, could have been a nutty, zesty salad of quinoa, zucchini, peas and fetta.

I’ll have to come back to try Red Robyn’s French toast…

Food: Yummy+0.5. Culinary haven for diners with food intolerances and allergies, and the perfect sweet pumpkin rosti.
Coffee: Yummy.

[Red Robyn]
Where: 393 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell
Contact: 03 9077 3763

On this occasion I found inspiration from Fatboo (the sweet brioche pain perdu to be exact), who never fails to offer me new salivation worthy brunch options, albeit being quite far at times. Mostly I feel deterred by faraway locations, especially so in the morning when I am already hungry. It is all a mental game of push and pull when it comes to indolence.


Breakfast thieves occupies a lofty space with ample splashes of white washed tiles, weathered timber boarding, well heated inside and some rickety chairs for amusement. Two points here. One: a small exaggeration possibly as not all the chairs were wobbly, just one. Two: I only noticed the warmth inside because we did arrive fairly late on a weekend morning so had no choice but to be seated outside. Whilst the sun was beginning to peak over the buildings and warm up the outdoor seating, the early spring breeze still had that lingering chill of winter.


Clockwise from top left

1] The Legend – Spicy baked eggs with spanish chorizo, baby spinach, spiced tomato ragout, goats’ feta served with herbed garlic toast
2] My usual latte was made with beans from STREAT (formerly Social Roasting Co.), for those of you who don’t know is an “…enterprise providing homeless youth with a supported pathway to long-term careers…”.
3] Sweet brioche pain perdu – French toast with red wine poached rhubarb, cinnamon apple, candied walnuts & vanilla maple panna cotta
4] The Breakfast Chain – A mixed board of honey baked apple & sultana with hazelnut crumble, granola & fruit yoghurt, soft boiled eggs and cheese toastie soldiers


Savoury brioche pain perdu – French toast with John Harbour bacon, smashed avocado, wild rocket & orange rosewater syrup


Robin Hood – Tea-smoked ocean trout served on baby endive, edamame beans, tempura enoki mushroom, organic quinoa, baby radish & poached egg

Food: Yummy+1
Coffee: Yummy

Breakfast Thieves’ menu follows a playful tune with items from fairy-tales and childhood storybooks, that are mostly creative, flavoursome and generous in servings. I found I had to agree with previous reviews suggesting that it can at times suffer from some inconsistency.

Regardless to say, the sweet brioche was brilliant particularly with their use of spicy apples and rhubarb to offset the creamy panacotta and buttery brioche. Classic renditions of baked eggs and savoury brioche was enjoyable by the mouthfuls. The leprechaun (these corn fritters were a tad too dry) and robin hood (with incoherent elements) however strayed behind.

[Breakfast thieves]
Where: Shop 1, 420 Gore St, Fitzroy
Contact: 03 9416 4884
When: Breakfast / lunch daily. Closed Monday.

If you haven’t had enough brunch read yet, check out my other brunch posts…

Davids and Wealth garden for Yum Cha
Coffeehead and Goldilocks
 Brunch roundup October 2012



Red Robyn on Urbanspoon

Breakfast Thieves on Urbanspoon

4 Responses to “East-side brunch series: Breakfast-thieves versus Robyn-hood?”
  1. Ying says:

    Very cool! Didn’t know there were so many places on the “East Side”.

  2. Ashley says:

    Ah, so nice to see some activity from you! 🙂 I love the idea of Red Robyn but wasn’t totally smitten by the food, but maybe just need to pick different offerings next time…

    …and totally need to go back to Breakfast Thieves….those brioche soldiers…!

  3. We’ve tried both these places and loved them.

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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