Melbourne’s brunch scene is getting out of control. New cafes are popping like weeds and there is just no catching up. The recent announcement of The Age Good Café Guide 2013 winners and newbies has made yet another staggering addition to my dining wish list.
60 Commercial Road
+61 3 9676 9333
My visit to Tall Timber marks the end of “Tuesday brunches with Fakebooo”. We used to be colleagues with our RDOs coinciding on Tuesdays so that we can fulfill the demands of our greedy stomachs. After I’d changed workplace, I still managed to get Tuesday off and we would catch up and get up to no good (calorie-wise). My RDO has now changed and “Sayonara” to “Tuesday brunches”. We caught up with Lauren (of Footscray Foodblog). I do love dining with food bloggers; the entire conversation can be about food and we never run out of topics to discuss. It may also lead to an invite to dine at a restaurant!
Tall Timber is situated on Commercial Road, just before the hectic scene of Chapel Street commences. It is run by the same people of Station Street Trading Company. It is aesthetically pleasing with its large white brick wall, hovering plants and long communal table with inset herbs.
We start off with coffees by Niccolo beans. My piccolo latte was pretty delicious with rich buttery notes of dark chocolate. It is far tastier to the Allpress beans used in Station Street and I do hope that SSTC will change to Niccolo beans soon.
Fakebooo had the open ciabatta, complete with poached eggs, bacon and relish. It is similar to the big breakkie dish that Station Street offers, but not as good because the bacon isn’t as crisp and the ciabatta makes it a little difficult to eat.
My mushroom dish was delicious. The juicy portobellos had a slight sweetish balsamic marinade that worked beautifully with the rich goats’ curd. Lauren struck gold with her breakfast. Her French toast consisted of 2 thick slabs of buttery brioche, stacked atop each other. It was topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and red fruit and a hidden surprise of gooey dark chocolate. As if it wasn’t decadent enough, it came with a little pot of maple syrup for drowning the sweet treat.
We left tummies satisfied but not before arranging for another meet-up. I’ll reveal it later, but to give you a hint: it was spicy, absolutely delicious and left us waddling out of the restaurant.
Fakebooo and I then proceeded to further expand our bellies by purchasing some baklava from Abla’s. Booo depleted his share within the day, while I was a bit more constrained and ate them over a week.
Anyway back to more brunching.
246 High Street
+61 3 9885 8777
After the winners of the Café Guide 2013 were announced, I suggested visiting a café in a suburb that was a bit foreign compared to my usual brunch locales. So, on a dreary Sunday morning, I gymmed while The Angmoh had a sleep in. We drove towards unchartered territories and found ourselves at The Resident.
Situated alongside a running/cycling track and perpendicular to the shopping stretch of High Street, Ashburton, The Resident is yet another pretty little café, newly opened and a great addition to the suburb. There are comfy couches, plush cushions and cute Dutch clogs.
My piccolo latte was chocolatey from the 5 Senses beans, while The Angmoh’s filtered brew had citrus, “Ribena” notes.
Once again, I delved into mushroom goodness. There was a variety of mushrooms, such as swiss browns, abalone, wood ear and fried enoki. Topped with a perfectly fried egg and a drizzling of truffle oil, I was in fungi heaven.
The Angmoh’s potato roesti with smoked salmon was just as delightful. He had asked no mayonnaise due to tummy problems, not that the dish needed it anyway. The brick-shaped roesti was crisp with grated potatoes, and gave a wonderful contrast to the smooth textures of poached egg and smoked salmon.
Go for a run or a bike ride, then head into the warm cosy embrace of The Resident. The food and coffee will certainly not disappoint.
286 Ferrars Street
+61 414 991 556
With the likes of St Ali, Dead Man Espresso, Clement and Chez Dre in South Melbourne, you wouldn’t think another café would open up. Magic Espresso is situated on Ferrars Street, more than a stone’s throw from South Melbourne Market where the brunch madness ensues.
It’s small, it’s cosy and with hardly any signage, humble with sincere and friendly service.
Healthy eating is emphasized at Magic, with a good array of simple breakfasts and the use of free-range eggs and organic bread and dairy. The house blend coffee is from Chompy by St Ali/Sensory Lab and guest single origins are featured too. Sweet delights from Matt Forbes are available, such as his famed doughnuts: delicious deep-fried yeasty balls, stuffed with heavenly filling of salted caramel or lemon curd and dusted in sugar.
We started off with magics (of course). They were light, sweet and pretty delicious. It was Meatless Monday and that had me ordering the smashed avocado with poached egg. It was zesty, the egg was gooey, and I was very satisfied.
The Angmoh’s big breakfast was served without the avocado. The waitress was extremely apologetic about it and quickly brought out a side dish of it. She later spied that one of the eggs was overcooked and offered a perfectly poached one.
The simplicity of Magic Espresso with its excellent service makes dining memorable and also gives you a want to linger. Do yourself a favour: skip the hour-long queues and harried wait staff the next time you’re in South Melbourne and stroll over to Magic Espresso. It’s a pleasant brunch, with good coffee and an appetizing meal, without the hassle of its more crowded neighbours.