The answer to Melbourne’s favourite meal of the day – BRUNCH! :)
Whenever I asked people for recommendations of food in Melbourne, the topic would inadvertently turn to this meal, in between breakfast and lunch, for the lazybones, or simply those who have the time to spare to languish over a delicious meal, relish every mouthful of the food, and indulge in their caffeine of the day. I know how I’m sorely missing out, being rather averse to coffee, but I was definitely in for a treat with the food. And while these cafes I’m recommending are solely on the basis of their food, I’m sure their coffee is pretty good as well because it is rare to find a bad cuppa in Melbourne.
I need to be more efficient in writing these posts (as you know, I have the tendency to ramble), but I’ve got to pen this down – Australians are proud of their brunch, and they show it. The brunch here is so mind-blowingly good, that I can’t wrap my head around what we’ve been eating in Singapore. You can refer to my lists of best eggs benedict, french toast, waffles etc, and they are good, but…it just gets a little tired after awhile. It’s…common. In Melbourne, they don’t do common. They do loud, they do unique, they do creative. This is probably a generalisation, but I don’t believe it’s far fetched to say that no brunch is the same anywhere in Melbourne.
Here are the must-tries:
118-120 Hardware Street, VIC 3000
Man, can you resist a cafe when it has such cute servers like them?! ;)
We were really lucky to get front-row seats at this cafe. At a bar seat right in front of where the chefs were whipping up their meals. It was fascinating to say the least. I took a leap of faith and ordered the daily special, which was a tuna & salmon tartare on a bed of quinoa/barley/pomegranate salad, topped with two poached eggs and homemade crisps. GOSHHHH. Just the way our server described it made me drool already. I just had to order it!!! And it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I hope they get this on the main menu soon!
Hammer & Tong
Rear 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Apparently soft shell crab burgers are a big thing in Melbourne, and you can get your fix at Hammer & Tong! A perfectly crisp soft shell crab, sandwiched between two fluffy patties and it comes with a yummy slaw as well. You can find all kinds of slaw here!! It seems like every cafe/restaurant has their own version of it, which is pretty cool. Also tried this really interesting salt & pepper french toast (photo featured in my first post on 5 things to do in Melbourne) which was delicious, despite the fact that I couldn’t wrap my head around the description.
172 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
This cafe is a coffee roaster as well, so you can expect to find some great brews here (: I had, by far, the FLUFFIEST PANCAKES EVERRRRR. Look at that stack!! Sooooo thick, but super duper fluffy and light. It was really interesting because I wouldn’t typically go for orange-flavoured foods (not that I don’t like orange, but I just like it in the form of fruit/juice and that’s all), but this was a great choice! The tangy orange sauce was so appetising and yummy that I mopped up every bit of it with my pancakes that had the soaking power of a sponge.
And…that was the day I ate two brunches haha. Things you gotta do when you don’t have a lot of time in Melbourne. Hah!
7 Seeds Specialty Coffee
114 Berkley Street, Carlton, VIC
So I actually really only went to four cafes. SOBS. Can you believe it?! It’s too little!
Anyway, I went to 7 seeds on my last day, and I’m really glad I chose it! It’s those kind of really hole-in-the-wall cafes which I nearly walked past without knowing it was the one I was looking for. Melbourne’s cafes are beautiful. You might be getting sick of me raving over these cafes already, but I can’t help it. I love the vibe in the cafes here. The buzz and the bustle, the whole experience is just so invigorating, yet extremely relaxing. I don’t know how to describe it, but you’ve gotta feel it to know it. So I heard a lot about the pulled pork sandwich at this cafe and I had to try it! Definitely one of the better ones I’ve tasted. It was so moist and tasty! And I was sold by that handful of toasted chilli nuts on the side. Can’t resist it. Tried my first (and last) hot chocolate in Melbourne, and I was just wow-ed by their little touches (: That chocolate stick in there? Gosh. It was such a lovely, creamy, chocolatey cup of warmth ^^ I’ve heard their coffee here is amazing too! Do try it on my behalf hehe.
So…some last words (: While brunch in Melbourne is not cheap, you get what you pay for and more with their huge portions and quality ingredients. Plus, there has to be some value for the amount of creativity they put into their dishes, right? While I tend to hold back a little when I go for brunch in Singapore, I was happy to splurge on brunch in Melbourne. Typically paid around $20 for each dish, and I would do it all over again <3