Collective Espresso | Tall Timber
Now that we’re no longer working together, my regular Tuesday brunches with Fakegf aren’t always a given. In fact, she’s just told me her new roster won’t allow her to have Tuesdays off anymore. Noooooo…! What am I going to do… pottering around by myself?
Last week was the final time we got to brunch together on a weekday, so I’m commemorating this post to the memory of our Tuesday shenanigans.
3 Cookson St
Camberwell, VIC 3124
03 9882 8995
I can be a bit of a decision doormat with regards to choosing a brunch spot. So for this one occasion, Fakegf forced me to choose where to brunch.
I saw that my brunch visits seemed to have a lot of bias towards the inner North and West lately. So I opened up my eating wishlist… blew the thick layer of dust off the top of it, picked three cafes in the Eastern suburbs that I’d yet to visit… and then asked Fakegf which one she thought was the most memorable.
She instantly replied ‘Collective’.
That’s how we ended up in Camberwell… in a cosy little cafe by the train station. The drive took us a short 30 mins too! The East feels far but it actually isn’t.
Piccolo (Crompton Rd, 5 Senses) $3.70 | Rwanda Kinunu Filter $5.00
Once we were seated, coffees came swiftly… Fakegf’s piccolo was light and well made.
Since I’d already made myself a piccolo at home, I went with the filter of the day. My drink was gentle and fruity with a brisk finish… nice and cleansing for my big breakfast to come.
Emu burger, pickled cabbage, cheddar in a brioche roll $12
It was still early at 10.30am but we asked if the lunch menu was available. When our waiter said ‘yes’, both of us drew huge grins and did *greedy hands*… because it meant we could try the Emu Burger!
And boy… was it geeeewd! Juicy, tasty, with good ingredients seasoned perfectly. The emu tasted pretty much like beef… not gamy at all.
“Collective sigh of relief” – Scrambled or poached eggs, native spinach, three types of mushrooms, smoky tomato chutney, kaiser bacon, croquette, toast $22
As you all know by now, when there isn’t a smoked salmon + asparagus + beetroot number on the menu, I’d quite predictably default towards the big breaky. On this front, cafés can either churn out a boring big breaky or they can push into something more spectacular.
Collective falls in the latter category… this dish was very satisfying. The smoky chutney was beautiful, the mushrooms were rife with the fragrance of truffles, and the eggs were poached to an almost sous vide-like consistency.
Teething into the thick slab of nicely charred kaiser bacon, one could almost hear me letting out that proverbial ‘sigh’ of relief. How often do brunches do that to me? Not often at all!
Let’s now fast forward a fortnight to a much sunnier Tuesday… last Tuesday actually…
60 Commercial Rd
Prahran, VIC 3181
03 9676 9333
I think Fakegf has bionic food vision, I’m convinced she can spot a new café from two suburbs away… thank goodness she finally has a food blog!
Tall Timber had just opened in Prahran and of course she knew about it. We dismissed all thoughts about letting the establishment get its footing, and promptly arranged for a brunch catch-up session with Lauren (from Footscray Food Blog) here.
Tall Timber is opened by the people behind Port Melbourne’s cosy Station St Trading Co. (also ex. Coin Laundry in Armadale). This cafe boasts a sleek yet homely aesthetic with natural woods, a beautiful communal table, and white brick walls. Very inviting.
I’d never been a fan of Coin Laundry and Station St’s coffee because of the beans they use – Allpress. However, for Tall Timber, they’ve changed to using beans from Niccolo Caffe – a Melbourne-based boutique coffee importer. It’s a more enjoyable bean, my piccolo tasted mid-balanced with hints of cocoa.
Portobello mushrooms w goats curd, almonds & basalmic $15,5
With our brunch choices, we dived right into our comfort zones… mushrooms and goats curd for Fakegf (of course). The sweeping discs of portobello had a sweetish balsamic glaze infused into it, which balanced nicely with the curd.
Open ciabatta w poached eggs, avocado salsa, bacon, roasted romas & beetroot relish $18,5
And yep, big breaky for me… =)
Look at what a messy eater I am! It was a good dish… although I still prefer Station St Trading Co’s version because you get to go barbaric over chargrilled bacon skewers there.
French toast: Coconut, pecan + chocolate-stuffed brioche, vanilla lime maple syrup $16,5
Lauren struck gold with her brunch choice. Her French toast came out looking almost like a cake!
The three of us cooed with symphonic excitement as Lauren knifed into her dish. Awesomeness… look at the chocolate in the centre! It was quite a lot of ‘cake’, so Fakegf and I happily ended up helping Lauren finish it. The strawberries were infused with the fragrance of flower blossoms.
Something’s changed recently… I think I’ve rekindled my love for brunching. Even in Winter, it’s such a bright and happy affair… being with good friends, delicious food and blissful smiles.
I’ll now end this post with a few titbits of miscellaneous mischief that Fakegf and I would normally get up to on our Tuesdays together. My laptop died recently and I lost a few hundred photos, how awful! To avoid future grief, I walked across the road from Tall Timber into Officeworks and got myself a second portable drive to backup my backups.
And to help digest our brunch, we strolled down the road to Prahran Market to buy beans from Market Lane for my home espresso machine.
But that didn’t end there, ha ha… we passed by Ablas Patisserie inside Prahran Market and couldn’t resist getting some baklavas. It’s $20 to fill a box… we got one box and split the bounty. Let me tell you my share was demolished very quickly.
I’ll miss the foodie jaunts that Fakegf and I would normally get up to on Tuesdays. Hopefully, we can eventually sync our off days again and get back into our brunch playground!