Bayte | Mama Bear
With my recent food jaunts this year, my brunch visits far outweighs dinner places and recipes. So I’m sorry if every second post seems to be about brunch spots. But I’m brunching less now since I don’t have a Tuesday brunch buddy. Anyway, these two cafes have been sitting in my drafts folder for more than a month, so it’s time to give ’em a slap on the buttocks and send them into the www… are you ready? =)
Fakegf and I were catching up with Ashley at The Town Mouse awhile back, and when Ashley told us that they served dirty chai (chai with coffee) off the menu at Bayte, we got pretty excited. We paid a visit the very next week.
These days, I’m all for brunching with a difference, so I was more than happy to try out Middle Eastern fare. The cafe sits unassumingly on Johnston St in Collingwood and you’re quite likely to walk on by without noticing it. But if you do intend to visit, my tip would be to come from 11.30am, where the very interesting lunch menu becomes available as well.
Dirty Chai 4.5 | Freshly Brewed Lebanese Coffee 3.5
We dived right into our Middle Eastern morning beverages, I liked the cute pour pots that our drinks came in. Fakegf went with the chai spiced coffee, which had mostly bonsoy action in it with mildly bitter hints of coffee. My Lebanese coffee reminded me of thick brewed, rich and roasty Ethiopian coffee. Add condensed milk to it and it’ll probably remind me of Singapore kopi! Quite a caffeine punch and I needed a few packets of sugar to help me along.
Manoushi bi^ Awarma – charred flatbread topped w preserved confit lamb, labne, pine nuts and lemon 11.0
The menu is filled with very unusual sounding dishes and ingredients. We were quite lost. I chose a dish which turned out to be like a Lebanese pizza. The flat bread was very crisp, and overall, the dish tasted on the tangy side because the labne had quite a bit of lemon in it.
Beyd me ^li bi Summa^el Kafta Meshwi – sumac spiced fried eggs served with barbecued lamb kaftan skewers and baba ganoush 14.5
Fakegf chose a beautiful dish featuring lovely, springy-resilient flatbreads accompanied with deliciously herbed lamb sausages, a comforting baba ganoush and fried eggs seasoned with something different – sumac. I’d probably want to order that the next time I’m back, although there’re many other fascinating dishes on the menu to try out too.
Halva & pistachio ice cream 3.5
We ended brunch with a gorgeous scoop of halva & pistachio ice cream. I liked how you could taste the slight bitterness from real pistachio skins and the ice cream also had hints of flower blossoms (rose water?) in it.
I really enjoyed this place and its interesting (and affordably priced) dishes. If this is what brunching with a difference is like, I’m so doing it more often!
526 Racecourse Road
Flemington, VIC 3031
03 9376 0386
I tried to find a theme to link Bayte up with this cafe as a twin post, but my brain has gone a bit diluted and I couldn’t come up with anything. Mama Bear isn’t Middle Eastern, it’s one of Melbourne’s many brunch spots with the sort of menu we’re pretty familiar with.
Strong flat white 3.5 | Dragonfly spice chai 3.6
I caught up with Ees, Damo and his well behaved doggie (Sammy) one Sunday morning in May. I’m not that keen on Gridlock coffee, so I went with an interesting sounding chai, which ended up tasting pretty ordinary.
Barcelona Omelette w sweet onions, smokey potato, manchego cheese, jam on and romesco 15.9
Ees had an omelette which tasted on the dry side…
Scrambled eggs w tassie smoked salmon sauteed asparagus, broad beans & lemon chive creme fraiche 16.9
… while Damo had a scramble which I believe he enjoyed.
Jacks Breakfast – the god father of big breakfast with fried, scramble or poached eggs, mushrooms, tomato, fresh baby spinach, bacon, pork & fennel sausage, home made tomato relish 18.9
The breakfast menu wasn’t that big, and since I was in familiar territory (and hungry), I defaulted right into the big breakfast. It was pretty standard fare and did its job filling me up.
It was good catching up with Ees and Damo. And while there’s nothing special about what we had, I can’t cast judgement based just on one visit. Perhaps the lunch menu may be more interesting.
To be honest, the most memorable thing about my visit to Mama Bear was their huge-ass baseball bat sized pepper mills! What would Papa Bear and Baby Bear say? :)