Sometimes, we don’t have the luxury of Saturday mornings to go for the more popular brunch places and have a full-out brunch venture. During such times, we can only afford a simple brunch in a convenient location. And that is how we arrived at Merchants Guild.
Basically, this was the situation: we wanted to do a later brunch so that we can settle more things in the morning (i.e. packing for Ms CC who was getting ready to leave Melbourne at that time), and we wanted to find a place in between our church and Ms CC’s place to cut travelling time. So after narrowing down the possible suburbs, we found Merchant’s.
I was actually excited about checking out this cafe as it meant exploring a new suburb. I wanted to get a feel of the brunch scene in Bentleigh and we also read many good reviews of their Pranna Chai lattes. I found it quite unique that a cafe would be well known for its chai latte, as opposed to its coffee.
So after a 15minute wait (yes, Merchant’s was alot more popular than we thought!), we were given the outdoor table and in a rare twist to our brunching habits, Ms CC, Ms JQ and I ALL ordered the chai latte – we really wanted to know what’s the hype about!
And I guess half of the fun in order the chai latte is pouring out for yourself!
Okay, all these antics aside, how good was the actual drink?
To be honest, we didn’t find the spices strong enough. We even tried to leave the spices inside the small jug before pouring the tea out again but still, the chai taste was quite weak. So yea, we were a little disappointed in our drink which turned out more milky than spicy – we all thought that an Indian aunty from our church makes much better Indian tea!
Ms CC was actually so let down by the drink that she decided to order a coffee for us to share, to fulfil the caffeine hit.
Alas, the latte came out weak as well and we couldn’t quite taste the blend 😦
So the drinks didn’t quite hit the mark… what about the brunch fare?
As the name suggests, this dish is made of all things healthy – broccoli, kale, pumpkin seeds… you get the picture. The only familiar brunch ingredients we found were the lovely poached eggs, that slice of toast and side of smashed avocado. We felt really healthy eating this light dish – while it was good, we felt a little not used to such a superfood dish!
This was Andrew’s dish which looks pretty healthy too! The elements all worked well on the dish but he did comment about the avocado salsa being a little too sour.
While the previous dishes were so wholesome, we felt that this dish gave us the grease that we wanted. Yay!
But we found that while the roast potatoes, smoked trout and poached eggs went together, the horseradish cream and pickles on the other side of the dish seem abit disconnected from the rest of the dish. I guess they are meant to give a sour cut to the dish but we weren’t big fans of the pickles and we felt the cream made the overall dish heavier.
And this, I thought, was the Dish of the Day 🙂
I enjoyed the salty hit of the jamon paired with the fresh basil, tomatoes as well as the lucious yolk on those hunky toast pieces. I guess I wasn’t so sure about the anchovies and Ms CC found that she didn’t like the jamon. But oh well, I thought that out of all the dishes we had that day, this was the 1 interested me the most with the combination of flavours.
Overall, I guess Merchants Guild is for you if you are after a healthier slant to your brunch fare with their ‘superfood’ and organic ingredients used in their dishes and drinks. Or just looking for a decent cafe in Bentleigh 🙂
So while we were not fully won over by Merchants, at the end of the day, we found a convenient cafe that fit into our busy schedules, we got to venture to a different suburb, and discover a different type of brunchfare – here’s to another tick off our cafe-hopping list!