Recap part 1: Breakfast in the ‘burbs
Eating too much and not having enough time to blog is a running theme, and ongoing problem…
I am officially overwhelmed with the number of posts I have to trawl through before being anywhere close to being up to date, not to mention the enormous amount of digital processing I have to do for my recent Vietnam foodie extravaganza. So to alleviate some of that pressure, and extract some of the foodie experiences from my shrivelled brain before it all evaporates, a “quick” series of posts to highlight (and I really mean just highlight) some of the events and venues I have thoroughly enjoyed. I will endeavour to chug out proper posts in due time.
We begin our brunch journey in Hawthorn at Le Flaneur. My fondest memory here lies with Le Flaneur’s deconstructed lemon tart, which I’ve mentioned previously…
“This may or may not be on the menu when you visit, but it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead to see if you can get this de-constructed lemon tart with raspberry meringue on the day. It is gorgeously sweet, buttery and by no means a light snack for brunch. A lighter option of apple with balsamic salad (available at the time), for me came as a prelude to the deconstructed tart”.
Although I have heard various mixed reviews at this French café, from the visits I have made it has successfully hit all the right notes. Whether it be the fried egg, apple salad, with balsamic dressing and spinach puree; or the Herb-sauteed mushroom & poached egg with black mushroom vinaigrette; or the Brioche with bacon and pineapple – there was always a running melody of uplifting acidity in the food with French notes and a touch of indulgence. Not to mention the hues of bright yellow with splashes of country French with Melbourne quirkiness in the space just makes brunch here that little bit special.
Heading out east to the very green suburb of Templestowe, Beasley’s teahouse is really a nursery come teahouse, first established as a nursery in 1976 with the tea house coming later in 1986, which still makes it a longstanding institute of the ‘burbs. So, naturally the setting is one of homely character and soothing persuasion. Tea and scones anyone? Your good ‘ol brunch offerings are available here 7 days a week, and they make a mean poached egg with ample drool worthy ooze.
Adjoining a bicycle shop – St Ali’s new northern sister – St Ali North definitely brings a laid-back air with ample space both inside and out. Ironically the crowds it draws in can make it a little painful to get a table particularly on weekends or holidays, with people spilling onto the sidewalk, the surrounding park benches, even the windowsills are utilised as dining spots. No doubt they are drawn by St Ali’s reputation and most certainly make return trips after they’ve tried the gorgeous food. Rabbit rillettes, Royale wagyu burger, pan fried stone fruit with brioche all passed the test with flying colours. The corn fritters (My Mexican Cousin) made famous in the south (aka St Ali) however failed to impress. It simply lacked a little extra oomph of juice, spice and surprise to make it that little bit more memorable. Maybe I am just getting bored of corn fritters – we have too many of them around Melbourne.
On that point of brunch-time fritters, the pea and haloumi fritters at Jackson Dodds was a totally different kettle of fish. Firstly they used “peas”, not corn. Second, those green little monsters were practically bursting out of the hot, crispy fritter, interspersed by generous pockets of haloumi – absolutely amazing. I cannot believe I was not aware of their existence prior to this. Sure Jackson Dodds also have corn fritters, which in their own right are decent, but be sure to sample the various rotating interpretations with zucchini, parsnip & corn. This place is now one of my favourite haunts, so go check it out!
That is all folks, for now… stay tuned for much more epic recaps.
Where: 5 Church St, Hawthorn
Contact: 03 9853 8587
When: breakfast / lunch 7 days.
Where: 196 Warrandyte Rd, Warrandyte
Contact: 03 9844 1777
Where: 611 Gilbert St, Preston
Contact: 03 9471 1900
[St Ali North]
Where: 815 Nicholson St, Carlton North
Contact: 03 9686 2990
For more brunch spots check out my Brunch Map of Melbourne: