My Tuesday brunches with Fakegf has almost become a standing order. And we’re now trying to explore a different part of Melbourne each time. But I admit our radar does not extend all that far by imagination, with most places concentrating in a few key suburbs.
So how did we end up brunching in such a pretty little café in Reservoir? I’ll have to confess it wasn’t done that ‘organically’. The café contacted me by eMail, asking if I was interested in checking them out.
I glimpsed the menu and saw unusual things like ‘cauliflower omelette, thyme’ and ‘smashed avocado, chilli oil’. Very nice. We paid an ‘anonymous’ visit a month later.
Lady Bower is like an oasis of pretty things tucked slightly away from the main street in Reservoir. And I had no idea how far away this suburb was for us until we were actually driving there. We were somewhat hungry and irritable by the time we arrived, but the café’s bright and cosy atmosphere quickly made us happy again.
I admit the café’s so good-looking that I went a little crazy with my camera here, with permission from the staff. That’s when I realised it’s kinda hard to be an ‘anonymous’ brunchgoer when I’m scuttling about snapping away with a professional lens.
But that’s the thing between bloggers and food critics. Bloggers are obvious because they tend to fish out big cameras, while food critics don’t use cameras and they really dine anonymously. Critics review food with a professional authority, while bloggers kinda just want to describe and
brag about share their dining experiences.
Either way, I’m starting to notice that most places don’t bat an eyelid at big cameras these days. Like it’s almost part of the customer demographic.
Magic & Piccolo $3.5 (by 5 Senses)
The coffees are crafted using a Synesso machine. Nowadays, Fakegf and I are very familiar with the flavour profile of 5 Senses. At Lady Bower, they make it gentler and smoother, with the slightest hint of berries.
Eggplant bake, fetta, tomato, white bean, herb crumbs with poached eggs $14
As usual, Fakegf ordered something I wouldn’t think of ordering. It was a very wintry dish… baked, earthy, beany and dense. Fakegf liked the herb crumbs on top but otherwise found the dish a little too heavy for her liking. Umm… to be honest, the words “eggplant bake” should’ve been telling enough. But she was hoping it’d be more like a spicy-relishy eggplant kasundi type dish.
All that said, someone from our neighbouring table had this dish and all I could hear were exclamations of joy. So obviously it’s a dish that has won hearts.
Smoked trout, roasted beetroot, charred carrots, hazelnuts & mozzarella with poached eggs $16
My brunch consisted of a vibrant winter root vegetable ‘salad’. The components sounded and looked amazing on the plate.
Many flavours were at play here… sweet, juicy, nutty, smoky. The combination half-worked for me. It was tasty, different and surprisingly filled me up even with the lack of a conventional carb component. I loved the roasted beetroot in particular.
Chocolate tart $5 | Black forest muffin $2.5
These days, a brunch has to end on a sweet note. We picked out these two delightful homemade sweet selections from the cake stand when we were paying to leave. Unfortunately, they did not last long, we devoured them before driving off.
Lady Bower has given us a beautiful little place in Reservoir with an unusual seasonal brunch menu. The two dishes we had were quite imaginative, I’m curious what their menu in Spring and Summer will be like.
NB: Just to make it clear, I visited Lady Bower unannounced & paid for my meal.