Saturday, May 07, 2005

Small Block, Brunswick East

Slowly but surely the latte left has grown up, paired off, and settled in Brunswick. With a critical mass of comrades invading Melbourne's once desolate inner urban North, it was only a matter of time before the cafes sprang up to service their needs. Enter Small Block, at 130 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Tel +61 3 9381 2244. A comrade's gotta eat.

Cheap Eats reckons this place serves up one of Melbourne's "sunniest serves of eggs benedict". What exactly is that supposed to mean? Are they the best? Or is this just a fluffy way of saying that there's Eggs Benedict on the menu and they're not too bad? I'm voting for the latter. The eggs and ham were good, the toasted bread roll was an interesting twist, but the hollandaise lacked zing. And good hollandaise needs some zing.

A better option, in my view, would have been the Small Block Summer Breakfast of eggs, beetroot relish, avocado and spinach with a potato and shallot pancake. Or maybe Jed's Bircher muesli with Rhubarb?

As a venue, Small Block is a great example of designer grunge meets industrial chic... the combination of polished concrete floors, original pressed tin ceilings, and comfy 2nd-hand furniture just seemed to work. The place was busy and buzzing, without feeling cramped.

My coffee was good (but not very good), and the service was friendly, if a little slow. Well worth a visit if you're North of the city and looking for eggs.

15/20 "designer grunge for the latte left"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree witht the service - can be very slow - but the corn fritters are to die for.

If you're looking for something similar in the area try Cafe Banter further up Lygon St.


7/9/06 10:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service was slow, I had their Ricotta Pancakes with Barbados Cream and Pears - very nice!

12/9/06 11:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the service pretty smooth and audit considering the place was buzzing. The buck rarebit was excellent, my partner had the corn fritters with the chilli jam - to die for.

16/10/06 08:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked this place out and found the coffee to be excellent. The Eggs Benedict had a excellent zing that lit up the palate. My wife had the pesto eggs which she found to be cooked just right.

The atmosphere at Smallblock is fantastic.
Overall great experience that did not hurt the hip pocket.

19/10/06 10:08  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Went back to Small Block today, and had a very enjoyable serve of orange-scented French toast with pistachio marscapone

7/11/06 22:43  
Blogger twistedbrick said...

The best pancakes I've eaten in my life (and I've had my fair share) were the ricotta pancakes with Barbados cream and pear.

Small Block has a sister a few blocks up Lygon St, on the other side of the road. It's in between Victoria and Blyth St. I can't remember what it's called sorry, but it's set back from the street and is painted khaki green. I ate the chocolate and sour cherry bread with marscapone. I could not get this breakfast out of my head for the next few days! They wouldn't tell us where they sourced the bread from, so I looked online and still couldn't find a baker in Melbourne that makes it. Does anyone know where I can buy a loaf?

4/1/07 12:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, the corn fritters are dynamite, but the poor coffee discourages me from going back. Have given it 4 tries now and not 1 good coffee in 4 visits. Overly milky lattes and lacking in flavour - even when I sent it back and asked for a strong one.

If you're not a coffee drinker though, do yourself a favour and fight the crowds and inattentive service.

28/2/07 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chocolate and sour cherry loaf (or something tres similar) is from Phillippa's. You can also enjoy it at Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder.

1/5/07 11:13  
Blogger becstar said...

The cafe you can't remember the name of El Mirage - love it!

And the bread may also be from The Natural Tucker Bakery - would be my bet as the source given it's only on Nicholson St, so nice and local.

Happy Breakfasting!

16/5/07 18:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Small Block again on Sunday - still the quintessential East Brunnie cafe. The menu is consistently outstanding; had the smoked trout brandade with poached eggs and truffle oil; the ultimate winter breakie!!! Coffee and service can be messed up, but the food always makes the wait worthwhile. Looking forward to the french toast with pedro ximinez raisins and marscapone next time!

17/7/07 19:21  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Had the corn fritters recently, and think I will upgrade the score to 16/20...

5/8/07 22:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small block uses coffee supreme which is a mild and very smooth roast. Iv'e been there a number of times and I have never had a bad coffee! If you are finding your coffee milky, then go somewhere where thay have a strong tasting Italian blend like Lavatza.

The corn cakes at small block are really good and so is the steak sandwich.

10/11/07 08:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The service is criminally slow as others have mentioned (every time I've been there), but the food is good. The coffee is OK (real coffee drinkers don't have it with milk anyway) ;)

11/11/07 06:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Small Block's coffee is really the best in this area of lygon street - I agree it's not always the fastest (that title belongs to Poached, across the road).

15/8/08 13:06  
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