Sunday, August 5, 2012

Breakfast all stars

I've been so spoilt with luck (or what I prefer to believe is very astute decision making...) over the past month of breakfasting, I thought I should do a round up of my favourites which haven't been celebrated in other posts.

Batch Espresso
Shop 1, 320 Carlisle Street
Open: 7 days, breakfast + lunch
BYO: No, but they do have a fantastic selection of NZ sourced booze

Batch Espresso on Urbanspoon

When Weazelby finally bought a new (old) car we were unanimous in our decision to fulfil a long awaited trip to Batch. Batch has been a breakfast favourite of both of ours for years and although there was a time when I had the tolerance to manage the bike ride, my fickle moods (usually roused by a hangover) favour the easy car trip. The dish we both argue over ordering, as I'm a stickler for ordering different dishes, is the corn fritters. Oh glorious corn fritters...

Corn + chive fritters with cherry tomato + avocado + feta + coriander salsa + tomato relish $15 (+ extra side of bacon $4.50)

These fritters set a mighty high standard for competitors, managing to perfect the corn:batter ratio without losing any structural composure. I noticed these had a hint of smoked paprika, perhaps a new addition - and a welcome one. When married together, smoked paprika and corn are a flavour tour de force. The fritters are served as a trio and the accompanying cherry tomato, avocado, feta and coriander salsa add a well fitting Mexican element to the dish. The relish is mildly spiced and thankfully, not too sweet ('jam' like relishes are my chagrin). Although not needed, I always add bacon and the serve verges on the point of ridiculous. Perhaps I have just become seasoned to the sensibly restrained portions you can often get elsewhere. FYI the photo was taken after one rasher had been donated to Weazelby's breakfast.

Coffee here is sourced from Coffee Supreme and always ticks the boxes. Sometimes I get carried away assuming all cafes need to have the latest and greatest single origin beans however Coffee Supreme has been around for years now and remains a solid option for coffee aficionados (provided it is made well!).

Batch has certainly still got it going on, especially considering our bill for two breakfasts + 2 coffees came to less than $40.. can't say that happens more than once a year (when we visit Batch!).

The Premises
202 Bellair St
Open: 7 days, breakfast + lunch
The Premises on Urbanspoon

The owners of The Premises, Alex Anderson and Kate Holloway, have a royal cafe pedigree between them having previously worked at both Seven Seeds and Liar Liar. This has certainly translated well into their own project and from day 1 of opening The Premises has developed a solid following of coffee nerds and brunch addicts. Whilst I wont focus on the coffee in this particular post, I have to emphasise it is exceptional and this is reflected in a constantly rotating selection from Seven Seeds, Market Lane and other International coffee celebrities.

On this visit I was blown away by a new offering on the menu I hadn't seen before - the sardines with black olives, olive tapenade, lemon crumb, lemon and a poached egg on organic sourdough $16.50

Australian sardines are currently in season so I've been scouring breakfast menus for delicious fishy options. These were lightly floured, pan fried and topped with a lemon bread crumb. The bread itself tasted as though it may have been made in house although I forgot to ask. I personally love olives and sardines together although for some it can be too salty/intenso. To romanticise, one mouthful of this dish is like a Mediterranean holiday. A generous squeeze of lemon and the juicy crunch of cherry tomatoes add a necessary zing to balance the olive oil and richness of the sardines.  To be honest I'm not sure that the egg is essential, as the sardines and their accompaniments certainly hold their own - although I often don't order 'non-egg' savoury breakfasts.

Twenty & Six Espresso
594 Queensberry Street
North Melbourne
Open: Thurs-Tuesday, breakfast + lunch
Twenty & Six Espresso on Urbanspoon

I have already professed my love for Twenty & Six, so this is merely to remind you this love affair is still going strong with no end in sight (marry me?).  I was excited to see on the twittersphere a new addition to the menu - a wondrous omelette named Le Alumelle. If my google-ing serves me correctly, alumelle was one of the first terms for an omelette dating back to the 13th century in a guidebook for correct behaviour and practice for wives: Le Menagier de Paris. I wouldn't say I approve of this guidebook, considering it is written in the 'voice of an elderly husband addressing his young wife' with the general ethos of maintaining 'wifely obedience'. History aside, this new menu addition is a fine example of the thoughtful and artistically prepared breakfast items Twenty & Six is becoming well known for.

Le Alumelle - 3 egg omelette with caramelised leek, cold smoked salmon, and a fennel and dill salad + beetroot relish $19 (+ a piece of sourdough toast $2)

Hidden beneath the silky, light fold of egg was a buttery, slightly sweet layer of caramelised leek adorned with a coat of salmon. I was astounded by the level of attention that had been put into crafting this, there was not one single bite where I did not have a perfect proportion of leek, salmon and egg. The dill & fennel salad was a welcome reprieve to the butteryness of the omelette. The beetroot relish was quite rich however its delicate smear on the plate allowed the mild leek and salmon to be the shining stars of this dish.  The piece of toast was optional, which I initially thought was a little stingy - I ain't no carb fearing, protein loading breakfast girl - however I ended up only eating half of it as the omelette is quite the formidable meal in itself.

I must warn you - on my visit I managed to snag one of the last omelettes - and this was before midday, so get in quick!

So there you have it folks, three of my favourite breakfast delights of the past month.

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