For the past 18 months or so, I’ve eaten breakfast at the same cafe at least once a week. I work several afternoon shifts in a week where I start at 12pm so I like to enjoy some scrambled eggs, coffee and a magazine before throwing myself head first into the fray. I discovered a place that was kind of situated on its own but had a high reputation – and it totally lived up to it. The best eggs ever, nice interior, decent staff. Suited me fine.
Since Christmas I’ve been there twice and I don’t recognise anyone, so I think they’ve switched to new owners. The first time I went there I walked out because I’d been sitting there waiting to order for a long time and no one came near my table. Given the front room seats about 20 and you can see all the tables from the counter, I wasn’t exactly hidden away. Plus I’d actually apprached the staff and told them I was taking a table. However the clock was ticking and I ended up leaving because of the poor service.
I went earlier this week and did all the same things. Told them I was taking a table then sat down and waited. No one came. Girl came out and cleared a table but left me alone. I ended up walking to the front counter and placing my order, only to find the male staff member was just happily cutting sandwiches. When my order arrived it was like someone was trying to cook something from the memory of having it – it was a shadow of a good meal. I ate half, left the rest and walked out. I don’t think I’ll return and instead will take my time and money elsewhere. Goodbye old friend.
Conversely, I also discovered a gem of a cafe this past weekend. Usually I head down to Camberwell Junction on a Sunday if I’m not working and have a late breakfast, do some shopping etc. I was feeling a bit bored of the places there though and nothing was quite ticking the boxes – shoddy service, iffy food, general blahness. I had a look on Urban Spoon to try and draw out some hidden gems and it threw up a place I’ve driven past heaps of times but never been to, the Red Brick Cafe on Mont Albert Road in Surrey Hills.
RBC got high ratings and good reviews. The photos I saw looked good and the menu seemed to be pretty good and at a reasonable place. Wehen I got there around 1pm the place was absolutely packed and I got one of the two remaining seats at the breakfast bar. For someone like me with long legs it was slightly uncomfortable but there were absolutely no tables for my whole time there. A fair effort given it’s not even situated in a strip shopping area. I was looked after immediately and the service was impeccable the whole time.
I ordered the breakfast bruschetta which I photographed in all its glory and is shown above. It was sourdough with avocado, roasted tomato, fetta, rocket and two poached eggs. It was amazing (though one tiny gripe is a touch too much rocket) and just the right size to feel properly full without bursting. I’m not much of a coffee drinker but I tend to have one or two cappucinos every week and this was possibly the best coffee I’ve ever had in Melbourne. Needless to say I’ll be going back.
I am most definitely a creature of habit when it comes to food. This time though I’ll be dropping a tired old habit and picking up a great new one.