For over two decades, Melbourne cafes are the winners of all day breakfast and brunch. From these early days of eggs; scrambled, poached, fried or turned into sandwiches, breakfast has become quite the thing with wave after wave of fresh fashions gripping the best cafes throughout Melbourne. We have gone from being mad for breakfast wraps and everything with Turkish bread to an obsession with baked eggs (often Israeli or shakshuka style) and French toast in a myriad of forms. Now crushed avocado is so omnipresent it is nearly breakfast restaurant cliche, and, with more people making great coffee at home, it’s inevitable these other yummy starts to the day also have moved on to our tables at home. Here are the current favourites.
We have seen Egyptian dukkah pepping up boiled and poached eggs for some time. And even at it’s most fundamental, this coriander seed, sesame and nut combo include delicious crunch and flavour pop to any style of eggs you cook in your home, making the effect of Lebanese flavours seems especially powerful. So how about adding hummus, falafel, labneh and a sour tomato salad into your hard-boiled eggs like they do, or pairing the eggs together with the smart combo of marinated feta, hummus, roast pumpkin, pickled beetroot and pumpkin and sunflower seeds such as the Gardener and Field at Melbourne. Then you’ve got eastern cafes ploughing the exact same very fertile Lebanese furrow. How does scrambled eggs with labneh and sujuk sausage sound?
Breakfast pannacottas are a little dessert now popular in most Melbourne cafes catering hawthorn and other trendy suburbs. Often in the style of a pomegranate, honey, and lavender pannacotta. It’s all part of a move to serve dessert for breakfast that means you will see small pancakes and banana bread pimped up with fruit, berries, nuts, caramels and ice cream. Seems like Australia’s coolest cafes have been hitting the backpacker trail for inspiration, whether it’s Vietnamese “pho” with rice noodle and chook or tamarind prawns on a Vietnamese scrambled eggs. Then there is banh xeo in Shannon Bennett’s Jardin Tan in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens.
Forget cornflakes, instead search for more exotic grains and cereals, whether its quinoa flakes, amaranth or white corn meal instead of oats with coconut quinoa bircher or the slowcooked five-grain porridge. For more inspiration consider additional breakfast grain dishes like Chinese congee, red rice for this breakfast rice pudding, or a brown rice stir fry with prawns, chorizo, fresh chilli, coriander leaves and lime. Or take inspiration from the wealth of unusual seedy, nutty and grainy muesli or granola out there — possibly utilised in another trendy fashion, the breakfast trifle.
Paleo, fermented, vegan, superfoods, green juice, coconut oil, and cacao have all become buzzwords of the contemporary cafe menu. We are seeing a growing number of dishes, such as chia seed porridge, possibly loaded with LSA (that is linseed, sunflower and almonds to me and you) and even takes on salads hitting breakfast menus. In the home, this can be as simple as adding kale or a fermented dose of kim chi to your egg and bacon roll. At the Piggery Café in Sherbrooke, fermented, cashew nut milk and ground almond pancakes are flying out the door.
It might seem like a long shot, but how about a slice of breakfast terrine, perhaps made with pork hock with loads of mushrooms? Or a bacon packed breakfast, including meat loaf with whole eggs … or how about those breakfasts that have been popping up on menus like the chorizo scotch eggs at Fifty Acres in Richmond.
The breakfast trend is here to stay, and in fact has been so popular that several yarra valley weddings have apparently seen couples opt for an early ceremony so that amazing breakfasts could be served at the reception.
With so many amazing options I’m already planning my next brunch; got a favourite Melbourne café? Let us know in the comments section!