Sunday, February 04, 2007

Balzari, Carlton

Unless you were sleeping under a rock (or locked up in Guantanamo Bay) during the TomKat wedding, you would know that Tom vowed to provide Katie with "a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat". So you can imagine my reaction when breakfast arrived this morning at Balzari, 130 Lygon Street, Carlton, Tel +61 3 9639 9383. I'd never seen a more impressive pan than the cast iron monster used to serve my baked eggs. Had I gatecrashed a secret Scientology match-making brunch? Is that person reading a copy of Dianetics? Is that Kate Ceberano sitting in the corner? Why is that interstellar space plane hovering outside?

baked eggs

False alarm. It was just a pan... a very hot pan... filled with baked eggs, softened capsicum, Spanish onion, chorizo, tomato and goats cheese (although the menu said fetta). Without doubt the best baked eggs I've ever had (although it must be said that I don't order baked eggs very often).

If you don't fancy baked eggs, don't worry. You have many good options. The eggs benedict was excellent, with a magnificent, sharp hollandaise. There's a Triple Cheese Toasty with grilled cheddar, fontina and fior di latte mozzarella. Or sweeter options like cinnamon fruit toast; Greek donuts with apricot and chocolate ricotta; and house-made toasted muesli with poached berries.

grapefruit juice

The coffee is great. The service is great. The bentwood chairs are great. Even the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is great.

In fact, it's hard to think of anything that isn't great about Balzari. It's just a pity they don't do breakfast during the week.

18/20 "best baked eggs"


Eggs & Bacon $11.50 BB100 +15%

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Blogger Squishy said...

See now that looks like a fantastic place to have brekky. You certainly have some wonderful breakfasts baby :)

6/2/07 01:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I love your blog comments. I went to Balzari on the weekend based on your blog. Spot on! The baked eggs were excellent and you could tell the person who made the coffee cared. I overheard her telling the waiter to get the coffee out asap - "it's like food".


18/6/07 20:03  
Blogger ice tea: sugar high said...

The best coffee i've had in melbourne... creamy, caramelly, hmmmmm

22/6/07 11:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking for somewhere today for brekky for 6, and had only been to Balzari before for dinner. Based on this review, Balzari was the go. They were prepared to take a booking, which was a good sign. Went the baked eggs as well, which were delicious. My only regret is that I didn't order a side of bacon. Oh, and the chai was average (hint: use T2 chai). btm

8/7/07 17:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, I love your blog and based on your comments and rating we went to Balzari for breakfast. Well we were extremely disappointed with the range of choices and what we got. We wanted the eggs benedict but were told that they had run out of Hollandaise Sauce and this was at 9.30am and they didn't look busy (only 3 other customers) surely they could make some? So we had the big breakfast and eggs benedict without Hollandaise Sauce and coffee. Very average, maybe the owner has changed since your review.

2/10/07 19:03  
Blogger Unknown said...

We decided to try Balzari as our first choice (Fandango) was packed! And we had no regrets with our second choice. It's in a nice quiet spot on Lygon St and has a cruisey, relaxed vibe. My girlfriend had the baked eggs and was delighted. I had their big breakfast and it was very good. Best of all was their coffee - very caramelly and smooth. To top it off, Chris really looked after us and made us feel at home! We'll definitely be back...

5/2/08 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So disappointed with my breakfast here this morning.

Had scrambled eggs, 'chargrilled' bacon, 'oven-roasted tomato with basil and oregano'. Well, the tomato was half a small roma tomato and was stone cold. Not quite refrigerator temperature, but not even approaching warm. And that was $3!!! The ordinary bacon and not otherwise not well-cooked. Still, a better bet at $3.50 than the tomato.

Scrambled eggs so-so on soggy toast - if the toast a restaurant does can't handle food being put on it, it should be on the side.

To be fair two of us had baked eggs and they were okay. But nothing we'd come to the other side of town for again. Maybe it's true. Maybe Italians just can't do breakfast.

1/6/08 13:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your ratings on many cafes I enjoy - so i took your recommendation and tried Balzari - and it was terrible.

Its almost not worth describing - it was not a meal worth paying for, let alone making it into the top 20 Melbourne breakfasts

The baked eggs were overcooked and and tasteless, none of the sides were well cooked or presented.

The coffee was woeful with scalded frothy milk and tasting like dishwater.

Maybe you should revisit and revise your rating

31/7/08 22:39  
Blogger Unknown said...

Went there today on your recommendation and really enjoyed the food and coffees.

I had the soft boiled eggs with oven roasted wild mushrooms and cheese on ciabatta and it was fantastic. Others had the baked eggs and the eggs benedict and gave them the thumbs up too.

28/3/10 16:58  
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