The Little Ox | Dr Jekyll
The Little Ox
452 New St
Brighton, VIC 3186
03 9596 6577
This is a first, but I’ve pretty much caught up with my post backlog somehow. As I’m writing this post, I only have 4 other Melbourne places waiting to be written. I think my combined brunch posts has helped me catch up. Speaking of which…
What an adorable looking café!
But I’ll have to confess something. I added this café to my wishlist because fakegf suggested that the waitstaff here are supposed to be gorgeous GORGEOUS boys. You can’t dangle carrots like that with me, I bite the bait too easily!!
Chocolate peanut caramel brownie $4 / Swirly & Piccolo $3.5ea
Our first visit here was just for coffees and sweets after a stroll along the bay in early Autumn.
The brownie was nothing to write home about, but the coffees were okay. They don’t do magics, but fakegf got this newfangled (not on the menu) coffee drink called a ‘swirly’ which actually tasted quite nice. Looked like a 3/4 flat white with a swirly foam pattern.
We wanted to come back because the café looked cheerful and the menu had many appealing dishes we’d like to try.
And come back we did a month later, with fakegf and her mom. I liked the fit-out. Daylight pouring in from a stretch of windows, bright chairs, neat tables and colourful cushions.
The Saturday morning brunch crowd came as a quiet, civilised stream and the café did not get crankingly busy, which was good. Sometimes too popular can be annoying.
Ginger Lemongrass Tea $3.50
Piccolo & Latte by Red Star ‘Fair Trade’ Coffee $3.50ea
Our coffees were less tasty this time round. The swirly was no longer available by request and when I ordered a 3/4 latte, a regular latte arrived. Looking at the foam cap, I decided not to trouble them asking for the correct drink.
Fakegf wasn’t excited about her piccolo either. Fake mother-in-law had a tea infusion, which she found very spicy and fresh. I should’ve gone with a chai.
“Gym Junkie” egg white omelette w/ smoked salmon, beetroot relish, dressed leaves $15
Coffees aside, the brunch dishes were good! I think egg white omelettes get overcooked and firm easily. But fakegf’s egg white omelette came out fluffy and cushiony. And the accompaniments married well with the omelette. Sweet juicy beetroot relish, tangy capers, fresh greens and wood-smoked salmon. On first bite, I went ‘wow!’. On second bite, I still went ‘wow!’.
However, In terms of balance, I personally think they actually were a touch too generous with the salmon, making the dish a bit too heavy on the savoury. Then again, fakegf told me she wouldn’t complain if there’s too much salmon. Ha ha!
This housemade relish comes from Hawk & Hunter in Ripponlea, the newest venture by the little ox boys. In fact, as I write this, it’s their opening night. All the best!
Soft Omelette with sautéed Mushrooms, Feta & Basil $15.00 + add Leg Ham $4.00
Fake mother-in-law’s omelette was also delightfully soft and moist. And the vegetarian ingredients went very well with the dish. Only the leg ham let her down, it lacked the rich flavour oomph that you’d expect from good leg ham.
Mushroom Duxelle Bruschetta, Beetroot, Persian feta & poached egg $16.50
This ingredient list intrigued me. Mushrooms mixed with beetroot and feta, and then a poached egg, how odd! Couldn’t pronounce it, but I now know that a duxelle is cooked using finely chopped mushrooms satuéed with onions. It gives a flavoursome part-light part-rich spready result that’s almost like a savoury chutney. Fakegf loved the duxelle.
Perfectly poached eggs, delicious feta… the beetroot was juicy, although a little thin in taste. Overall a different dish but in a good way. It was light and cradled my hunger gently.
The little ox boys has given us a bright and boldly cheerful place in Brighton. Even if the coffees did not excite us, the menu’s quite unusual and I think this café is worth checking out!
Since St Kilda was nearby, we decided to do a reconnaissance trip to Dr Jekyll (also on our wishlist) for sweets. Fake mother-in-law tried hard to hide her excitement about the prospect of cakes and sweets, but I could tell. Now I know where fakegf gets her sweet tooth from. And it’s rubbing on to me!
Toasted Viennoise / Syndicate Coffees
I liked the café’s location, on the less busy stretch of St Kilda. Also cute were the patrons, some of them looked like they were unabashedly still in their PJs with bed hair! Obviously they just stroll in here for their breakie and cuppa.
Cherry Apricot Tart
This perky slice of tart from the display domes was delightful. I love tarts with pastry that’s freshly baked, soft and buttery.
Noisette Toasted Viennoise w/ fresh strawberries, orange-vanilla mascarpone, chocolate ganache & pistachios $14.50
The menu is scrawled on a board, and while the savoury offerings consisted of standard fare, we liked this one sweet offering and shared it between us. I appreciated how it wasn’t overly rich or sweet and not drenched in syrup. Instead the ganache was nice and dark, accompanied by lots of fresh fruit. Very enjoyable. A Viennoise is just like a baguette, but only more buttery. Mmm mmm…
Nice sweets. Actually, reason why fakegf wanted to visit here was because she heard the lemon tarts were very good. Pity they did not have lemon tarts that day. I think she will be revisiting at some point!