12 Claremont Street
South Yarra, VIC 3141
(03) 9827 1228
I’m not a morning person. It takes me a good hour of snoozing my alarm (I usually have two or three set and spaced 10 minutes apart), walking into walls and a splash of ice-cold water to wake up. And even then, I’m still halfway in lala-land or trying to figure out what I was dreaming about before my alarm so rudely interrupted.
There are two things that will unmistakably have me up and at’em before my phone starts quacking at me. One is me falling out of my bed, which, admittedly, doesn’t happen often. Actually, it’s only happened once, but suffice to say, I got up. Maybe I should get someone to push me out of bed every morning. Or not. Pretty sure I bruised my butt the first time. The second – a far more pleasant and common occurrence – is the promise of brunch. /end long-winding psycho babble.
C and I decided to head over to South Yarra and kick off the 2013 brunch series at two birds one stone (every fibre of my being is fighting the urge to capitalise each of those starting letters!). We arrived just before midday and were able to score a booth between the outgoing breakfast and incoming lunch crowds. I hadn’t even ordered and I already liked what I saw – the café was bright and airy, with clean, varnished counter tops and random bursts of teal. The guys who brought us Three Bags Full are doing well – not only have they heated things up along Claremont Street with this little gem, they’ve just opened up shop in Richmond with Top Paddock.
As always, C started off with a skinny latte (3.8), which, according to her, was nothing special. We’re yet to find a cup of Joe that really knocks her socks off. I, for one, could not stop gushing over the Tiffany blue cups and saucers – they were too cute! They definitely gave the otherwise sparse space a bit of warmth and colour.
My hot chocolate (4.0) was more lukewarm than hot, but nice and chocolatey. I loved the detail of the chocolate powder dusted over the top.
‘Breakfast served all day’ is my all-time favourite phrase next to ‘Sale on now!’. So, of course, my heart did a little flip-flop as my eyes skimmed across the same words atop the menu. C ventured down the sweet route and ordered the twice-cooked marmalade French toast with oranges and vanilla panna cotta (16.5). The bit of French toast that I was lucky enough to try practically melted in my mouth. It was the perfect balance of flavours; not too eggy, but not overly sweet. And finished off with the vanilla panna cotta (which was more like a quenelle of a really thick cream) – incredible! An absolute ripper of a dish, no question.
While C tended to her sweet tooth, I ordered off the specials menu and wolfed down the smashed peas with crispy pancetta, chèvre and poached eggs on toast (16.5). My egg was poached beautifully – the yolk oozed out like a boss as I cut into it with my knife and fork. The smashed peas were a great alternative to avocado and went nicely with the salty pancetta. The only issue was that it could have done with another slice of toast! The slice flying solo on my plate could barely hold it together, it was like the peas, pancetta and poached egg were playing stacks on.
I couldn’t leave without taking a few of the apple and pistachio crumble muffins (4.5 each) home. There’s no photographic evidence to suggest this actually happened… because they were in my belly before I could whip out my camera. But hey, I defy anyone to resist a cupcake that good-looking. The apple filling was deliciously sweet, the vanilla bean frosting was spot on and the pistachio crumble gave it great texture. Not to mention they were fresh from the oven – the cake was so lovely and fluffy, I wanted to die. Not unlike Agnes in Despicable Me 😉
For a morning feed that’s sure to please, check out two birds one stone. The menu boasts variety, the space is fresh and funky, and that twice-cooked French toast… well, let’s just say I’d be more than happy to wake up and smell the marmalade any day 🙂