We seem to be getting into a comfortable groove for our brunch ventures – source a good place out during the week, round up the usual brunch partners, get to the cafe by 11ish, get caffeinated and fed, look for something sweet after, and then head off for our church youth group. Seems to be working out for us so far!
Anyway, since our last brunch, our latest conquest took place in Fitzroy 😉
This place has been on my wishlist for awhile now, having read many good reviews about it being 1 of the better cafes in Fitzroy, or even in Melbourne.
Needless to say, a pretty high bar of expectation was already set before we got there!
When we got there, we also got a sense of the cafe’s popularity from the crowd – we were even told (apologetically) that it was going to be a 25minutes wait! Eeks.
But we did plan in our waiting time so we were happy to wait.
Anyway, the turnover was faster than we thought and we got seated 15minutes into the wait – yay!
It turned out to be a lovely spring day and all hayfever conditions were under control at that time so we had no qualms about being seated outside.
I was a little surprised to find that the coffees was priced slightly cheaper than other cafes (currently, it’s at least $3.80 a cup). Anyway, the magic was pleasant to drink with fruity notes. The menu did mention that the blend had cocoa and caramel but I couldn’t pick them up.
Ms JQ and I chose the more traditional dishes so for the sake of variety, Andrew kindly agreed to go for a more unconventional dish…
The idea of salmon being smoked in Chinese tea got us interested but unfortunately, we were quite let down by the dish, especially Andrew. You can read his review here.
Oh dear, I guess Andrew’s dish was a little too adventurous. However, things started to look up when this came…
A lot of the online reviews have raved about this dish of baked eggs and I guess this does live up to its erm, legend. Haha.
It was hearty and generous with its ingredients, from the 3 slices of garlic bread, to big pieces of chorizo and mushrooms.
But while we found the baked eggs decent, we actually prefer the version we had at Bluebird Espresso. We recalled that the chorizo used at Bluebird’s had a nice spicy flavouring that was quite unique. Anyway, that’s our personal preference!
This was another highly-rated dish and we couldn’t wait to dig into it.
Not many places do corn fritters well and I am happy to say that Breakfast Thieves is an exception. The fritters were crisp on the outside, not overly-doughy and had Indian spices infused throughout – yum!
And it wasn’t just the fritters that made it such a winning dish. The combination of ingredients went all well together and you can tell there are a few techniques going on on this plate.
Ms JQ was quite a fan of the burnt butter brussel sprouts and I liked how there were sprinklings of raisins and pomegranate seeds to cut through the greasiness of the fritters.
And as you can tell from the above picture, we totally mopped up the roasted fennel puree – it was delish.
Due to the dishes that we ordered, Andrew and I had differing opinions about Breakfast Thieves – while Andrew didn’t enjoy his experience (quite unfortunately!), I was actually quite impressed by the brunch fare, especially The Leprechaun.
So unlike Andrew, I would recommend this place – you would just need to stick to their more traditional and popular dishes!
We had time to spare so we just walked down a few streets to get something sweet!
This place is an Eastern European bakery and you can tell that from the Russian dolls spray-painted on the outside, as well as the service staff with their accents.
So that made us wonder, how would Eastern European pastries taste like?
We decided to share 2 tarts – I already had in mind what I wanted so Ms JQ chose the other tart 😛
This was Ms JQ’s choice. It was a nice combination and the pie crust was fine with me. However, we found it a little too sweet. While the cream did help to level out the sweetness, I’m not a big fan of cream.
This was the tart that I heard a lot about and we were slightly dismayed when it was served up like that. A perfect tart form would have made nicer photos!
Taste-wise, we did find the lemon curd a little too acidic but the burnt sugar helped to sweeten it up. Between the 2 tarts, we much preferred the lemon tart.
Dissatisfied with his earlier experience, Andrew was quite consoled with the coffee he had at Babka. We stole a sip and I must say that it was good strong coffee.
Overall, we didn’t find the pastries overly unique or outstanding. And looks like we had missed out on their more traditional Eastern European offerings!
But the lemon tart is still pretty good and from where we were, the smell of their fresh bread was lovely. I guess this is a laid-back cafe to hang out in, for a chilled conversation over strong coffee and homemade pastries – a good alternative to the more popular hip Melbourne cafes that are always so crowded!
And that was our latest venture in Fitzroy. Where are we going next? Well, stay tuned to find out!