Brunch Triptych: Sector East
I’m a brunch fanatic. Just so that you don’t get inundated with too many brunch posts each week, I’m blogging them in groups now. Hope this will balance things out. Today, I’ll cover three places in the East.
90 Kinkora Rd
Hawthorn, VIC 3122
03 9818 8864
I came here with Willem on ANZAC Day. And boy was that a gloomy morning. Still, the café was grindingly busy, even with a tacked on 10% public holiday surcharge.
Magic $3.50 / Piccolo $3.50
I actually did not mind the coffees here. Willem had a magic and thought it tasted like a hybrid between second and third wave beans, describing how it’s got a lovely nutty flavour but with a punch of bitter (ala 2nd wave) alkaloids on finish. He said “I love it. It’s a bit of a nostalgic trip.”
I can’t describe my tastings as scientifically, but my houseblend piccolo was smooth, nutty and caramelly with notes of dark chocolate. I had a single origin piccolo from Brazil later on and it tasted soft and sweet with mild nuttiness. While my piccolos had varying thicknesses in their foam caps, they both tasted good. I think the beans are from St Ali.
Fit-out is like a more upmarket suburban café gone industrial edgy, and the acoustics were on the noisy side that morning. Not the most relaxing of brunch places I’ve visited, in terms of vibe.
Salmon Scrambled 16 Salmon + Goats Cheese + Chives in Scrambled eggs on Toast
Willem enjoyed his brunch dish, but he did not explain why, and I did not ask. We just ate and chatted. Those ingredients would’ve been interesting to taste inside a scramble, I should’ve stolen a bite.
Poached Eggs on Toast 9.5 (add Spinach 3 + Smoked Salmon 4.5)
I built my own breakfast, selecting some of the things I love having. Everything was executed well. Spilly yolks, good salmon, good spinach, and I liked how the butter was served on the side. Only thing I wished was different was the toast, it was a dense-ish white bread. Made me realise how much of a sourdough addict I have become.
Good friendly service, decent coffees, and solid brunch fare executed well. There’s nothing wrong about this place and I can see why it’s so popular amongst the locals in Hawthorn. Personally, I think it’s not as cosy as I’d like it to be, and that’s the only reason why I’m less likely to return.
138 Cotham Rd
Kew, VIC 3101
This place was recommended by Lachy, so I had hearty expectations for its coffees.
Spiced Chai Latte $3.8
I brunched here with Ashley one Saturday last month. I was a touch late and found her happily nursing her customary chai, which she said was nice.
Magic $3.8 / Piccolo $3.8
As usual, I wanted to try all the espresso blends that were available. And if it’s good, I’d go seconds. I started off with the summer blend (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala) served as a magic. It was delicious, robust, and deeply flavoured with hints of dark berries. Very nice.
My second cup came as a single origin piccolo (Rwandan Musasa). It was a gentler drink with a rather odd bubble gum acidity to it, almost grape-like. Interesting… but I preferred the magic. I believe the beans here are from Axil Coffee Roasters. I’m growing to like Axil beans more.
It was really bustly that morning. The café is also part linked to a yoga studio upstairs. Ha ha… I’m imagining locals going for slimming peaceful yoga sessions, then getting fat from brunching downstairs.
Veg Nom-elette $18
An omelette of pumpkin, mushroom, red capsicum, mushroom, spanish onion, avocado and haloumi on multigrain sourdough
Ashley’s much enjoyed brunch dish looked very nommy indeed. We were struggling for words to describe how vibrant the avocado looked, until she struck jackpot with the right words: “very perky!”. That sounded so funny it nearly made me fall off my chair.
An omelette of chorizo, mushrooms & gruyere cheese on multigrain sourdough
Seriously, the omelettes were just too yummy sounding to pass up here, so I had the non-vegetarian variant. It was warm, soft, moist, fluffy and very flavoursome. Our plates were spotted with delicious droplets of sweet aged balsamic vinegar glaze. A very satisfying dish.
Studio Movida may not be as well known as other brunch places in the East, but they serve good coffees and delicious omelettes. If I lived in the area, I’d happily come back for more. I love it when I drink coffees that make me go “Mmm mmmm…”.
You may also want to read Ashley’s blog post on Studio Movida.
bread & jam for frances
Purveyors of dench artisan organic sourdoughs, pastries and cakes
Brunch with Ashley did not end at Studio Movida, we moved on to this cute high-ceilinged patisserie in Hawthorn for tea and sweets.
English Breakfast Tea / Peppermint Tea
This was the first time I’d ever seen these cleverly designed tea strainers. They sit so ergonomically by the edge of your cup, and once you’re done pouring, they flop back so perfectly on the table, catching all the stray drops.
And yes, we had a bit of fun with these clever strainers, going spinny spin spin with them. Such is the wonderful, laissez faire nature of brunching in Melbourne. It’s so carefree and fun!
Bee Sting / Apple Berry Crumble
As usual, I left Ashley in charge with what sweets to order. As a friend and fellow food blogger, she now knows exactly how my tastes buds are like with Western pastries. I don’t like them too sweet. These two selections were perfect choices.
The pastries here were incredibly good. The bee sting in particular. Good fresh custard, a brioche base, a crust of almond slivers and a lovely level of sweetness. We also really enjoyed how short and buttery the apple berry crumble pastry was. Actually, writing these sentences is making me crave a return visit!
That’s the end of my brunch triptych. All three places were good! I tried to write more concisely so that it’s more digestible to read. Did my tactic work?