Sunday, July 17, 2005

Q Eleven, South Melbourne

Coventry Street is fast approaching the status of breakfast precinct, with a strip of high quality venues from which to source your eggs. Today we braved the market traffic and checked out Q Eleven, 303 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Tel +61 3 9645 7311. Who'd have thought the ham steak (sans ananas) would make a come-back as a brekky dish?

Actually, the dish in question was a ham and roesti stack, consisting of some sauteed spinach, a fat quinoa & potato roesti, two slabs of grilled kassler ham, a poached egg and some onion jam. There was also a surprise serve (ie, not mentioned on the menu) of slow roasted tomato with rosemary. An original and enjoyable dish.

The "benedict style" eggs were served with thin-sliced grilled ham on white vienna toast with a bonus layer of spinach. The only disappointment here was the hollandaise (again), which had a very plain buttery flavour but absolutely no tang. If you can't taste the lemon or vinegar, you might as well be shoving a gob of butter in your mouth. Not an appealing proposition.

Apart from being a cosy and welcoming little cafe, the best thing about Q Eleven is its excellent menu: charred beef sausage patties; sesame mushrooms; bircher muesli soaked in organic OJ; creamed sago pudding with lime, coconut berries and yoghurt; and baked eggs with chorizo, fetta and tomato. The list goes on.

As I've come to expect, the Genovese coffee was very good (I've yet to receive a bad cup of Genovese), and at about $32 for two there were no complaints on price. Definitely worthy of a repeat visit.

15/20 "ham steak, anyone?"


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