Saturday, February 05, 2005

Cafe Sweethearts, South Melbourne

Today I did brekky at Cafe Sweethearts, 263 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Tel +61 3 9690 6752. I hadn't been there for a while, but I was lured back by the consistently good reviews it's had over the years, especially when it comes to... you guessed it... eggs. I'm happy to report that it was well worth the visit.

Sweethearts may well have the best range of eggs in Melbourne. We tried the poached and the scrambled, and both were good. Not perfect, but very good. In each case, the chef seemed to err on the side of caution, which meant that the eggs were a tad underdone. But better soft than solid, so this is a minor quibble. I enjoyed my scrambles, but (being super-picky for a moment) I prefer not to see little bits of egg-white dotted through the mix. I like my scrambles well scrambled.

The range of extras was pretty hard to fault. I was impressed with my mushrooms, bacon (grilled to perfection) and roesti, and the spinach and herbed polenta were also pretty good. Sweethearts also got the little things right. HP sauce on request (a personal favorite), and a pepper mill on each table. The whole would-you-like-me-to-grind-some-pepper-for-you-sir? routine is one of my pet hates. How am I supposed to know if the meal needs pepper (and how much pepper) before I've touched the bloody thing. Just leave the pepper grinder on the table please, and I'll use it as I need it.

Perhaps the weakest link of the whole meal was the toast... a thinnish slice of light rye, which got pretty soggy under my pile of eggs. Some thick, crusty sourdough toast would have lifted this brekky from good to great, IMHO. On the positive side, the polenta option was a big plus for those who like their brekky wheat- and gluten-free.

The coffee (Genovese, I think) was excellent. Ditto the tea.

For a place that does such great eggs, you'd expect the non-egg options to be thin on the ground. Not so at Sweethearts. In fact, the pancake range is arguably more impressive than the egg range, with blueberry, banana and pecan, and some tasty savoury options. You can even get kippers.

The staff were quick and polite, and I reckon our meals arrived within 5 minutes of placing the order.

Sweethearts is not a cheap venue for brekky. You'll be lucky to get out there for under $15-$20 a head, but you do get great quality.

The crowd was pretty mixed when we were there, with at least a few tables of young urban families. When it fills up, Sweethearts has a reasonable buzz, but as the crowd thinned, the wall-to-wall beige decor gives the place a slightly sterile feel. There's also a handful of outside tables, nestled under some big old trees, which should appeal to smokers and dog-lovers alike.

All-in-all, this really is an excellent spot for breakfast.

15/20 "biggest range in town"


Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Went back to Sweethearts at long last, for some nice fat pancakes and crispy bacon.

2/7/06 18:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to Sweethearts on recommendation. Why do I listen to recommendations? In a nut shell....or should I say egg was shocking. To be given scrambled eggs full of egg shells was bad enough but to send them back for another serve and have the same serve of egg shells given to're kidding!!! Appalling!!

8/4/08 16:18  
Blogger Maree said...

Agree, Sweethearts is definitely one of the better egg joints in town- so sick of hard poached eggs from other Melbourne places!

3/11/08 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omg sweethearts is fantastic. Breakfast was wondeful. Best place in Melbourne. Will be back real soon.

10/3/11 16:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to cafe sweethearts last weekend for apparantely there famous breakfasts on a recommendation. Never again. My partner got porriage with mixed berries and i got the lumberjack pancakes. Seriously the pancakes didnt taste that good, very dry and you had to drown it with syrup to make it moist and taste any good. And my partners porriage was cold. They took it back and i think they just reheated it because it came out pretty quickly. As he was eating the berries didnt taste that great and very mushy. So he asked about the berries to find out that there frozen berries and not even fresh. For the amount of money you spend you would think there products were fresh. What else is frozen. Will definetely not go back.

25/7/11 20:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cafe sweethearts best breakkie in melbourne yummy cant wait for sunday to come round again :)

12/4/12 15:59  

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