Brunch is my favourite meal for so many reasons, but mostly because it feels so luxe — not shoving museli or toast into your face before dashing out the door to work. And I love eggs, and toast, and coffee, so what’s not to love about brunch? (I don’t do avocado though! It gives me stomach cramps… yet I still don’t have a house deposit weirdly enough.)
In Melbourne by the evenings I was pretty tired so I would order in most nights, and I was tired by the time I got there so slept in most days, so brunch was the main meal of the day for sure.
Here’s a few brunches of note from my recent trip.
I stayed in Carlton North for half my trip, and Babajan was a short stroll from my airbnb. I went on a Saturday so it was really busy and it is only a small space, but the most darling maitre de really looked after me and found me a spot. So glad I did because it was delish! Babajan serves Turkish-themed breakfasts, and it was hard to choose. I had the toast with eggplant and pickle on it, which was fab. They also had lovely coffee.
Coffee roaster and cafe in Carlton. My time here was somewhat diminished by having to take several stupid calls from our strata management (who still haven’t repaired the flood damage from February…). Besides that, the coffee was good but the service was a bit random and frenetic (I was brought a coffee, starting drinking it, then someone took it away because it was a latte instead of a flat white, and then brought me a flat white), but I really liked the roti and pork breakfast I had and of course the coffee was good quality too.
In the second part of my trip I stayed in Collingwood, and turned into a terrible snotmonster after the wedding as my immune system just totally fell apart as usual. So this Collingwood spot was a short snuffle from where I was staying. It’s a lovely ex-warehouse space, filled with indoor plants and more.
I loved these scrambled eggs on rice with a side of gingery spinach. It was actually perfect comfort food for someone feeling ill. And I’ve managed to recreate these at home in Canberra as well, so miso scrambled eggs are my current weekend favourite. The coffee here (pictured in the post header) was also the best I had on this Melbourne trip. The owners (they also own CIBI) have just put out a cookbook and it is on my want list.
Also very close to where I was staying in Collingwood, and also an amazing space, AU79 was golden in every way. I loved the interiors — loads of plants, really interesting use of bright colours but in a way that still seemed cool and relaxed. But I really loved my breakfast, and so many of the other options on the menu sounded really good too. I had a kimchi eggs benedict situation, and it was perfect. This (and my next breakfast) have convinced me that spicy hollandaise is the way of the future. This place did kind of have the ‘mega cafe’ vibe of somewhere like the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney (as it was also huge, had an on-site roastery and bakery, and sold merch!). Part of me still prefers a cosy cafe, but you can’t say no to deliciousness.
More on the cosy and local side, this was a very convenient base to start a morning of perusing shops on Smith St. I had the duck benedict, and wow — it was lush. The richness of the tender duck cut through with spicy hollandaise was really decadent and yum. The coffee was also great, and it was a light and bright space.
So that’s my brunch wrap. As you can see I pretty much veer straight toward anything that is East Asia inspired! I really enjoyed all of these, and I’ve really got to find some sort of holy grail spicy hollandaise recipe so I can up my own brunch game at home.