Fitzroy and Collingwood are every foodie’s dream come true. Big names are lined up on Gertrude, Brunswick and Smith Streets and there’s no lacking of options in regard to types of cuisine. One of my absolute favourites is brunch, and cafes are scattered willy-nilly. The question drives down to “which café should I visit” when you’re in the vicinity. This post covers something new, something old and something different.
Hammer and Tong 412
Rear 412 Brunswick Street
+61 3 9041 6033
Fakebooo and I decided to pay a visit to Hammer and Tong when we found out it had taken over Brix, a prominent name in 2012 Melbourne gastronomy. We had dinner with Ashley sometime last year and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. In fact, it was through Ashley that we’d learnt about Hammer and Tong. Ahhh it’s the great circle of… food.
I read about the fizzy rose drink on Leaf’s blog and knew I had to order it. The little girl in me delighted that I’d worn a matching pink rose dress on that very day. It was totally coincidental, I promise. The drink reminded me of Bandung, a rose syrup cordial mixed with milk, but carbonated. It was refreshing and lovely, and would be perfect in summer. Fakebooo had a single origin piccolo latte which was alright.
We both settled for eggs that morning. Booo felt like English muffins while I couldn’t go past anything with truffle. Neither a fan of hollandaise nor bacon, I didn’t pick at his dish. On the other hand, I was totally enamoured by my dish. The aroma of truffle oil was intoxicating and the sharp parmesan enhanced it even more.
Hammer and Tong now does dinners too – I will be putting this back onto my wishlist!
134 Johnston Street
+61 3 9078 7047
The Angmoh and I had visited Bluebird Espresso sometime last year when The People’s Market was up and running. He had the dukkah eggs, which he later declared was the best he’d ever had but had forgotten which café it was. I knew exactly what he was talking about when he mentioned dukkah eggs in Collingwood. I have a penchant for remembering who ate what at where.
Bluebird Espresso has been around for quite awhile now. It occupies a narrow corridor that extends out to a cosy little courtyard. The house blend coffees are made from Syndicate beans, which is astringent with deep bitter-tasting notes.
The Angmoh had his usual dukkah eggs when we re-visited. It tasted exactly like the first visit. The dukkah was flavoured to The Angmoh’s liking and the spicy chorizo of excellent quality.
I was torn between the 2 options of French toast: the usual had sour cherries, while the special had poached pear with hazelnut praline. I have a soft spot for sour cherries and finally conceded to the one on the daily menu. It was breakfast dessert heaven. The buttery brioche had soaked up just the right amount of batter, such that the bread was soft but not soggy and edges crisp and flakey. The sour cherries paired well with the sticky dried apricots, and the mascarpone made it sinfully indulgent.
Our My visit to Collingwood ended very well with me purchasing my first Black Milk leggings at a terrific steal!
56 Johnston Street
+61 3 9415 8818
Fakebooo and I headed to Bayte to get away from the usual eggs on toast with ubiquitous pairings of avocado or smoked salmon. We wanted something different and we certainly got it!
Bayte offers Middle Eastern fare and the menu is chockas with foreign-sounding foods like kibeh and jibeen. We were also unfamiliar with several ingredients and didn’t quite know what to order.
We started off with drinks. Fakebooo’s freshly brewed Lebanese coffee was thick and super strong. It would go very well with a dollop of condensed milk. I’d heard from Ashley (once again) that Bayte made a chai-spiced coffee, and I knew I had to try it. Aptly named “Dirty Chai”, it had a strong soy flavour and was a bit of an acquired taste.
(Left) Beyd me^li bi Summa^el Kafta Meshwi – sumac fried eggs served with barbecued lamb kafta skewers and baba ganoush $14.50
(Right) Manoushi bi^Awarma – charred flatbread topped with preserved confit lamb, labne, pine nuts and lemon $11
We chose ‘safer’-sounding dishes: a lamb manoush for Fakebooo and fried eggs with lamb skewers for me. Both dishes were of generous portions and extremely delicious. They had a tangy bite to them, from the labne on the manoush and the sumac on the eggs. My lamb kaftas were well-seasoned and I loved the soft and fluffy accompanying Turkish bread.
We also shared a scoop of halva pistachio ice cream between us. It was simply wonderful.
I am keen to visit Bayte sometime soon again. I spied many a lamb wrap ordered as a takeaway and might just have to have one myself!