Lemon Middle & Orange | Gelato Messina
Lemon Middle & Orange
25 Rokeby St
Collingwood, VIC 3066
03 9415 1593
So… when I’d suggested we brunch at Lemon Middle And Orange, I sort of mentioned that the the cafe’s initials spell out as “LMAO”.
… neither Fakegf nor Fatbee laughed… *harrumph*!!
But the injustice slipped out of my mind the moment we stepped in. Maaan… this is one heckuva good-looking cafe! And it’s located at such an off-the-beaten-track part of Collingwood, in the industrial quarter… nestled amongst warehouses, all hidden in a laneway. It’s only thanks to Instagram that I know about this place.
This brunch happened on that 44ºC week in January, so having hot coffees made my body thermostat groan slightly. Coffees here are by Clark St Roasters and they used Espresso Syndicate blend for my piccolo. It came smooth (but very hot) with mild hints of fruit.
Poached duck egg, green beans, peas, pancetta, sourdough croutons $16
My brunch dish was supposed to have a ‘poached duck egg’, but they’d ran out that day. So our waitress offered two poached chicken eggs as replacement instead, which I happily agreed to. To be honest, I can’t really tell the difference between eating chicken eggs and duck eggs.
Ignoring that light drizzle of hollandaise, I liked how much greenery my dish contained and it was interesting munching into croutons made from confidently tart sourdough bread.
House hot smoked plum cured Tasmanian salmon, potato latkes, poached eggs, fennel, horseradish crème fraiche $17.5
But fakegf had the loveliest brunch dish for that day. Beautifully smoked salmon, potato croquettes with a light and summery fennel salad. They’ve nailed the flavour balance perfectly and I’d come back here just for this dish alone. There are countless brunch cafes in Melbourne, but there’s only a handful of cafes’ dishes that I’d consider memorable.
Waffles with caramelised banana puree, Jock’s vanilla ice-cream, crispy bacon, banana chips $15.5
Fatbee woke up with sweet cravings that morning (obviously, I wasn’t sweet enough), so he went with waffles and bananas (oh dear… bananas!). He enjoyed his dish, mentioning that these smaller waffles tend to be on the dry side if made poorly, but they were good and fluffy here.
Personally, I’d prefer if fresh banana was used, once bananas are cooked or made into a puree, it tends to taste a bit ‘odd’. Good crispy bacon though!
I’m glad we’re still exploring new brunch places… it’s a risky venture, and it’s easy to fall back to your reliable ‘oldie but goodie’ cafes. Despite the scorchingly hot day, we managed to have a pleasant brunch in a this little gem of a cafe.
Gelato Messina Fitzroy
237 Smith St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
But my suggestion that we visit ‘LMAO’ had a hidden agenda, because a 3 minute’s drive from said cafe takes us to a Sydney institution that has now opened its doors in Melbourne: Gelato Messina! Being a 41ºC scorcher of a day, such planning on my part was quite masterful. I feel so proud, I’m normally very scatterbrained!
A previous attempt to visit here one Saturday night last year fell flat on its face. Back then, the queue stretched scarily for nearly a hundred metres and we decided to give it a miss. So this time, we turned up right as they opened the doors at noon!
P Nutty 4 | Pandan Coconut Sorbet + Mango Sorbet + Apple Pie 7
So we’ve finally found ourselves in ice cream mecca! Fakegf enjoyed a rich and intense scoop of P Nutty – peanut butter gelato with peanut cookies and peanut custard. She declared this to be the ‘smoothest and creamiest ice cream’ she has ever come across.
Fatbee and I shared a triple scoop in a cup. Not sure whether it was the heat or if I was too full from my brunch, but I wasn’t too enthused by my selections. The apple pie leant towards the sweet and boring side, but I’ll concede the sorbets were nice and smooth.
And here’s a takeaway tub of chocolate mint ice cream that Fakegf got for her Ang Moh. Such pretty packaging!
Maybe seeing the huge queues in both the Sydney and Melbourne stores had raised my expectations by too much. Don’t get me wrong, I think the ice creams here are well made, and it will delight those of you who like it creamy and smooth.
But personally, I think I still prefer the more progressive flavour combinations that you can find at Spring St Grocer, or the unblunted flavours at Helados Jauja… where you can really taste the actual ingredients without wading through a curtain of cream.