Monday, 23 January 2012

Boo in Australia - Melbourne Breakfast/ Brunch (CBD)

My favourite brunch of all the places we tried in Melbourne has to be the meal we had at Seven Seeds, sister restaurant of De Clieu, and technically in the Carlton neighbourhood, but located on the edge very close to the CBD.

I found it hard to pick from the menu as everything sounded so good but ultimately went for the ham and cheese toastie with pickles on trusty old Dench Bakers bread. The sharp cheddar was brilliant, nice smokey ham and tomato chutney, one of the greatest sandwiches I've ever had. The coffee here is amazing too.

Dan and Megs had the breakfast bun and homemade beans, corn bread and avocado respectively. Thomas had the BBQ pulled pork with slaw in a brioche bun. Everything looked and sounded amazing. I loved the place.

The other central business district located brunch venue we tried was the much loved Cumulus Inc. I'll start with what I liked, we were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen where the chefs were busy either cooking the breakfast dishes or prepping. I love watching what they're all doing, there was a particularly daunting amount of pretty courgettes in a box with a young female chef working her way through them, peeling and slicing. Cute. The place has an excited buzz about it and staff were nice. We didn't love the food though sadly.

I had the house smoked salmon, asparagus, sorrel and 65/65 egg. Expensive at $17, the egg was great, cooked for 65 minutes at 65 degrees, a really oozy yolk and the salmon was nice with a subtle smokiness, and the thickness was nice. The bread was a bit meh (not Dench!) and I found the lack of choice on the menu disappointing. There were only 5 savoury breakfast dishes and I'm not a fan of sweet breakfasts.

Thomas' baked eggs looked nice, presented in the cast iron skillet but he found them just ok. So in all we weren't impressed in the place, having had high hopes. I think perhaps the mistake was coming for breakfast not lunch or dinner. Like most places in Melbourne, decent coffee though.

Slightly dubious inclusion to this post is Earl Canteen. You totally could have brunch here but it's really a grab and go sandwich place and come lunchtime the masses from the offices of the CBD flock here.

I arrived after a particularly intense power Christmas shopping session, desperately in need of some food and water at around 4:30pm. I feared they would be closed but fortunately for me they were setting up for the following day already and they had only sold out of one sandwich, not the pork, the one I had come for, yay!

The list of available sandwiches is drool inspiring but I had read great things of the pork belly and hell, when pork belly is available who's going for anything else!? This usually comes in baguette but they had run out of baguette so they substituted ciabatta which didn't hold up to the job particularly well. The pork, particularly the crackling was sensational and I loved the crunch and the tang of the fennel and cabbage slaw. The addition of grated apple gave the whole thing a sweetness and more texture so I was just a teeny bit upset about the bread situation but everything else more than made up for it. I'd love this place to be my lunch local.

Seven Seeds

114 Berkeley St

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

45 Flinders Lane

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Earl Canteen

500 Bourke St

EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon

This wraps up the Melbourne brunch posts, stay tuned for more Oz eats in the coming weeks,including Sydney.

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