Saturday, April 02, 2005

Albert Park Deli, Albert Park

Today, after giving Kamel the flick (tip to the owners, sack the surly staff), we parked ourselves at an outside table at the Albert Park Deli, 129 Dundas Place, Albert Park, Tel +61 3 9699 9594. The poached eggs were perfect. But, as they say, the devil is in the detail... and the detail is where points are lost.

Before I stick the boot in, a few words of praise. The Deli served up an excellent pile of home made beans... specifically, red kidney beans in a thick, tasty tomato-based sauce. And, as mentioned above, the eggs were poached just right, with whites cooked through, and yolk lightly cooked, but still quite runny.

So, where did it all go wrong?

First mistake: raw spinach. This may be a personal thing, but it's a big one for me. Spinach, IMHO, is a leaf best served cooked, or at least wilted. Sauteed spinach tastes fantastic. Raw spinach is bland and boring. If you must serve fresh leaves, try rocket, it tastes good raw. Or, at the very least, add the words "disgusting raw spinach leaves" to your menu, so I know what not to order.

Second mistake: plate clutter. I'm always frustrated by a plate of eggs that requires significant engineering work before you can safely take your first bite. In this case, the eggs were served alongside the toast, which in turn was balanced on the edge of the plate. Moving the eggs atop the toast was reasonably straightforward, but with its thick and unstable design, I ended up with what can best be described as a poached egg catapult. Physical challenges like this tend to undermine the whole breakfast experience.

Third mistake: bacon rinds. This may seem petty, but when bacon is served rind-on, I think "lazy chef". It's not like I'm going to eat the rind, so why serve it up? Cut it off. I'll thank you for it.

Now, having got those grumbles off my chest, a word about the specials menu, which had some great options: corn fritters with bacon and maple syrup, banana and passionfruit bircher, breakfast cake with poached pear and cinnamon King Island cream, or open omelette with bocconcini, basil and roasted tomatoes.

The service at the Albert Park Deli is limited to table delivery... you have to get off your arse to order and pay. But is was quick, despite being busy. The Moccopan coffee was pretty good, too.

At $29 for two serves of eggs and coffee/tea, it was a good value brekky.

13/20 "perfect poached, raw spinach"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jamie,
Your description of the meal at the deli was great, surely it's worth more stars?

20/9/06 15:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey jamie!
have you been to the albert park deli lately?

26/10/07 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stayed in the neighborhood recently. This was just a fantastic place for breakfast ... reputedly open at 4 AM (tip for those visiting from another time zone, as we were). Just loved it. Went 8 days in a row ... tried new stuff every day. Apparently your engineering and spinach comments have been taken to heart. Had eggs in every which way and it was no more than 2 seconds flat between the plate hitting the table and our first mouthfuls (I hate living 10,000 kilometers away from this place). Raw spinach ... nowhere to be seen ... a nice sauteed spoonful of leafy greens with some kind of balsamic dressing on many occasions. I'd whack the star rating up on this one. Well done!

16/5/08 06:28  
Anonymous Ruby said...

Try the goats cheese omelette on the corner of dundas and fausset up the street, perhaps with a side of spinach, tomato, mushrooms etc. It's fabulous!

5/7/11 21:47  
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