Saturday, July 28, 2007

Le Chien, Seddon

There's quite a mural at Le Chien, 5 Gamon Street, Seddon, Tel +61 3 9362 7333. A young lady-comrade down on all fours, impersonating a dog, presumably. Up in the corner, a scowling posh-spice look-alike declares: "I wanna be your dog". It's all very colourful and edgy.

i wanna be your dog

But was it a dog's breakfast? Certainly not. Quite the opposite. My scrambled eggs were the dog's bollocks. Served up on some nice sourdough, with smoked bacon, and some perfectly ripe avocado. It would have been a prize-winning poodle, but for a couple of mongrel sausages. I tried smothering them in HP sauce, but they still tasted funny. Maybe the black pudding would have been a better option?

le chien

The vego crowd might prefer "lots of avocado and tomato" on toast (with or without goat's cheese), Bircher muesli with rhubarb and pear compote, or plain old Promite on toast.

16/20 "nice mural dawg"


Eggs & Bacon $10.50 BB100 +5%

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Inkr7, St Kilda

This morning I ate breakfast with what Cheap Eats calls the "professional creative" crowd, at a buzzy little venue called Inkr7, 7 Inkerman Street, St Kilda, Tel +61 3 9534 6011. I think they mean creative types with real jobs and enough money to afford nice things like black sports cars. Which puts them in the elite company of Janette Howard (apparently she liked to speed around in one when she first met John) and Nick Bracks (who used to drive a black Saab before he got pissed and pranged it).

inkr7 benedict

In keeping with the crowd, the special of eggs benedict had a few creative touches. It was served on toasted pide rather than muffins. It came with spinach and ham. And there was a generous spread of Dijon mustard under the ham. Most importantly, the eggs were poached to perfection.

The standard menu has a few egg options (with various extras including grilled pancetta, grilled zucchini, pesto mayo and salmon) and "rustic" beans (5 different types) with Spanish onion, celery, capsicum and mushroom. On the sweeter side you can have muesli, fruit, banana bread with orange butter, or Dutch fruit loaf. The fruit loaf was also on special today, served with sweet marscapone cheese, fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

Despite a bad start (I stood like an idiot for a few minutes as staff walked past ignoring me), service turned out to be pretty good. And judging by the number of regulars, I'm assuming both food and service are pretty consistent.

16/20 "Dutch loaf"


Eggs & Pancetta $10.50 BB100 +5%

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Daniel Chirico, King of Bomboloni

Despite having the most annoying name in town, Baker D. Chirico is the king of bomboloni. I've heard some people call it "Baker" (which could mean any old baker). I've heard people call it "deChirico" (which sounds a bit like "DeShawn"). There is simply no snappy way to say Baker D. Chirico. I wish they would rename the place "Chirico" to make it easy for people to spread the word. Because the bomboloni here are the biz. Especially if you score early and they're still warm.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Julio Gives Good Doughnut

No fancy Italian names at Julio, 171 Miller Street, Fitzroy North, Tel +61 3 9489 7814. Just good old-school doughnuts, stuffed with house-made custard or strawberry jam. Forget the eggs. Just order yourself one of each doughnut, a cup of Coffee Supreme organic fair trade coffee, and enjoy one of life's great food combinations. They go together like Simon and Garfunkel. Never mind that Julio is named after Paul Simon's first solo release after breaking up with Art (Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard).

julio doughnuts

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Best Breakfast in Perth? Anyone? Anyone?

Someone (called Julie) asked me where to have breakfast in Perth, ideally somewhere near the middle bit. I am totally clueless about Perth breakfasts, but I'm guessing some of you out there can save Julie's bacon. Please add comments: who does the best breakfast in Perth?

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tom Phat, Brunswick

Say hello to the Cheap Eats 2007 breakfast dish of the year: the roti omelette at Tom Phat, 184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Tel +61 3 9381 2374. A monster dish of twisted roti, grilled bacon and asian-style omelette topped with roasted tomato salsa and fried shallots. A bit annoying to eat - roti is better ripped up in the hand than chopped up with knife and fork - but tasty and very filling.

tom phat

Tom Phat is fusion food done well: viet eggs fried with chilli soy and spring onion; sri scrambled eggs with spring onion, curry leaves, cherry tomatoes and crispy roti; and uncle ho's breakfast with grilled marinated pork chop, crispy fried egg, tomato, cucumber and rice; and south african fruit toast with cracked wheat, sultanas and poppy seeds. They also have "normal" food, like toasted muesli, corn fritters, and a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, tomato, mushroom, avocado and hollandaise.

Another strong point is the Coffee Supreme coffee. It had a superb, almost caramel-like flavour. It was organic. It was fair trade. And it was brewed up by a dude with a mohawk.

If you prefer your drinks cold and fresh, Tom Phat does a nice line of juices and smoothies with cute names. Pineapple, watermelon and apple is a "fruit tingle". Banana, apple and yohurt is "monkey magic". And watermelon, apple and ginger is "fit and fresh".

17/20 "phat"


Eggs & Bacon $9.90 BB100 -1%

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Morgans at 401, Melbourne

When I saw the blackboard special of poached eggs and bacon on potato roesti, I decided it was time to try breakfast at Morgans at 401, 401 Collins Street, Melbourne, Tel +61 3 9224 5196. My only hope was that Morgan's breakfast performance would be better than its recent federal election tipping performance.

morgans at 401

Poor old Gary Morgan got it all wrong in 2001 when he tipped a Kim Beazley landslide, only to fail again in 2004 by tipping a narrow win to Mark "train wreck" Latham. He may not actually have tipped an ALP victory in Afghanistan, but he does seem to have a nasty habit of over-cooking ALP support by about 2 percentage points.

Luckily, Morgans didn't overcook my breakfast. In fact they cooked it just right. The poached eggs were excellent. Nice soft yolks in a vibrant shade of dark orange. The bacon was also very good. Just the right amount of crisp. The only let-down was the roesti, which was too much like a pancake for my taste. It needed more spud.

For a city venue, Morgans has a pretty good range: eggs benedict or florentine ($9.90); omelettes ($9.90); pancakes with blueberries and cream ($9.50); muesli with yoghurt and honey ($5.90); muffins; croissants; toast and more.

And as if to stress that tipping is best left to the experts, the Morgans menu declares: "gratuities not necessary"

13/20 "good eggs"


Eggs & Bacon $7.90 BB100 -21%

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cafe Bruce, St Kilda

Bruce Springsteen. Bruce Willis. Bruce McAvaney. Bruce Ruxton. Bruce Almighty. Bruce Beresford. Even the Australian federal electorate of Bruce. They all take their place on The Wall of Bruce, at a cafe called... you guessed it... Bruce, 134 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Tel +61 3 9537 1088. A celebration of Bruce-ness to rival The Wall of Gaylord.

bruce egg and bacon pide

Unfortunately the breakfast offerings at Cafe Bruce are unlikely to rival its competitors in the Carlisle strip. Eggs come in two forms. Microwaved scrambles on toast. Or toasted pide with fried egg, bacon, rocket and relish (which was quite good). Otherwise it's toast, muesli, porridge or toasted ham, cheese and tomato.

Bruce is really an espresso bar, with a side line of toasted pide. The focus is on the coffee. So much so that the Barista (I'm guessing his name is Bruce), stands smack bang in the middle of the cafe in what you might call a coffee booth.

It seems only fitting to end with a tribute to Bruce, Monty Python style. Enjoy...

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Braeside Cafe, Mt Macedon

It's not often that you get to meet the chickens before you taste the eggs. And it's not often that you find a breakfast venue like the Braeside Cafe, 47 Taylors Road, Mt Macedon, Tel +61 3 5426 1762. With chickens, rosellas and kangaroos in the top paddock, it's quite the Harry Butler experience. And the food kicks arse.

braeside big brekky

You will search long and hard before you find a big breakfast to match this one: two poached (garden-fresh) eggs with hollandaise on home-made toast; a delicious pile of sauteed mushrooms; rashers of extra tasty bacon; roasted tomato; and a big, fat "Istrian" sausage served with a splodge of Gyda's chutney ($15). In 40 years I will be boring the grand-kids with stories of this one: "You call that a sausage, Johnny? Let me tell you about the pork banger I had back in the Winter of 2007..."

this place is hot

But that's not all. This place was scoring faster than a supermodel at a swingers convention. Creamy scrambled eggs with smoked salmon ($10). Excellent eggs Florentine ($10). Corn fritters with salmon, spinach, chutney and a poached egg ($12). Great Grinders coffee. Fancy tea in china pots. Flawless, friendly service. And a cosy, country vibe with warming fire and garden views. If they hadn't run out of pancakes (with bacon and maple syrup), this might well have been my first perfect 20.

You do need to get there before noon, and you may need to book, but it's well worth the one-hour drive from Melbourne if you feel like a road trip.

19/20 "best sausage"


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