This post encompasses a back-to-back brunch misadventure. The Angmoh and I, hard as it may be to believe, were running low on new brunch options so we decided to venture to Carlton North, a suburb we rarely include in our brunch eats.
Arkwright & Co. is a new kid on the block which occupies the front space of what used to be a textile factory. The café is decked in 50’s vintage red and cream and is charmingly quaint. Don’t expect an extravagant food menu however, as the kitchen space is somewhat restricted.
We were in luck that morning for the weekend special featured a weakness of The Angmoh’s: scones. We decided to share that between us before moving onto a different café for something more substantial.
The scones, made from a secret house recipe, were toasted to order and served warm and crisp with clotted cream and jam. The pot of chai comes the way I like it, tea and spices steeped in warm soy, no powdered stuff, thank you very much. I made the mistake of not allowing the tea to brew long enough, although a more generous heap of spices could definitely have been added to the pot.
After downing an oddly hot coffee, made from Seven Seeds beans, The Angmoh picked up a loaf of Noisette sourdough fruit loaf and we crossed several blocks to Small Victories.
617 Rathdowne Street
+61 3 9347 4064
Having arrived just slightly after lunch and narrowly missing the crazy brunch crowd, we were seated quickly, deep into the café. Small Victories is small and narrow, with limited seating capacity both in and out.
The menu is the most egg-citing menu I’ve come across. The sides are extremely jazzed up. Instead of boring wilted spinach, the greens come sautéed in butter and flavoured with chilli, garlic and spring onion, which is what The Angmoh had with his poached eggs. I was tempted by the posh side of pickled mushrooms, chestnuts and tarragon but decided to try one of the pre-designed poached egg dishes with baba ganoush, pomegranate and walnuts. Thank God I did, for it was devine. The Middle-eastern influences of smokey mashed up eggplant with little bursts of tart and sweet pomegranate jewels worked beautifully with the gooey soft poached eggs on crunchy toast.
Despite the stuffy, claustrophobic atmosphere and the terse, frigid service by one particular staffer, Small Victories dishes up superb brunch fare. The food is sensational and even the diners next to us could not stop gushing over how good the salmon was.
Our little drive to Carlton North turned out to be a mini-culinary brunch adventure. Carlton North is also adorned with many interesting boutique shops and nice green spaces, and is worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for something new and not already a local.