Ever since Fakegf has been seeing someone, (let’s call him FakeOtherGuy… lol!), she’s been exploring cafés in the East with him. So I’ve started to lag in that sector’s brunch coverage.
Doesn’t matter though, these days I’m no longer in a rush to cover places. I’ve all the time in the world to discover Melbourne’s food landscape. =)
This not-that-known café in South Yarra came with high recommendations from Fakegf, her man took her here. So I arranged a Saturday brunch catch-up with Damo and Bri. We nabbed a table easily at 10am, but I’ll have to say the crowd swelled immediately after. The brunch gods were with us that morning!
I believe the coffees at Cafe Gaia are from 5 Senses, they tasted medium robust with a faint, chocolatey hint of dark berries, quite nice
Free range chicken salad, zucchini, pine nuts 19.5
Bri got something simple and healthy. It’s the same dish Fakegf had (and enjoyed) when she last visited. I believe Bri liked it just as much.
Toasted pork belly sandwich w apple & parsley slaw & beetroot relish 16.5
Damo went a bit more decadent with a bright and juicy pork belly number, with an added kiss of brioche bread. I stole a bite and found it very pleasant.
Egyptian eggs – avocado, smoked ocean trout, beetroot relish & dukkah w poached eggs on multi-grain toast 19.5
I almost did not order this dish because there’s dukkah in it, a Middle Eastern ingredient that I’m somehow not that fond of. Then I spied a neighbouring table and realised the dukkah’s served on the side… GOLD!
This was a nicely balanced dish. Great-tasting trout, perfect eggs, and smashed avocado that isn’t made into a creamy goats-cheesy cliché. So good! All I had to do was to banish the dukkah to the side and enjoy the rest of the plate.
Banana & ricotta hotcakes w butterscotch sauce, strawberries & spiced mascarpone 16.5
We ended brunch with a shared dessert dish between the three of us. It was surprisingly not too sweet despite the thick blanket of butterscotch sauce over the hotcakes.
The spiced mascarpone had a touch too much cinnamon for our liking, but it’s good that it was non-sweetened. Overall pretty good, but not mind-blowing.
Cafe Gaia serves decent coffees and solid brunch fare, along with relaxed, friendly staff to sweeten your experience. In fact that morning, our handsome waiter (with his delightful Brit accent) even placed his hand on my shoulder…
Big blushy cheeks of mine aside, I give this place… FULL MARKS!! Ha ha ha!