Tag Archives: poached eggs

Crowded House

It’s always nice to have an excuse to explore a different area. As we were on our way to Altona Dog Beach, this gave me a reason to explore the cafes along Melbourne’s inner west coast.

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It was a nice day, or as nice as Melbourne would get whilst approaching winter, so the pictures of Crowded House’s outdoor area enticed me to this particular cafe. You can go through the cafe, or as it’s located on the corner, enter from the back.

The back looks almost like a shed, but as you swing the grungy door open, you’ll find yourself in a pleasant and open area.

20140524_131409The other requirement was a dog-friendly area. The area is spacious for a dog, and as it was the pup’s first brunch we were able to keep him in a corner with the dog bowl.

Unfortunately, after we were given the menus no one seemed bothered to tell us that the breakfast special was sold out. Disappointing, because it sounds amazing! I would have liked to try sweet potato rosti and judge the difference to normal rosti.

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We started off with some coffees, and I often like to indulge with an iced coffee (above). It was presented perfectly with scattered coffee beans on top, but the drink itself was standard. In my mind iced coffees from Brother Alec and Green Eggs and Ham are still leading the way.
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My friend ordered the Black Angus steak sandwich (below) with fried egg, toasted corn bread, relish and mature aged cheddar ($18). She also ordered extra mushrooms for about $3. It wasn’t really a sandwich, thus the dish seemed a bit small for the description. Consequently, it wasn’t anything to rave about.20140524_133857

I ordered the Shanklish poached eggs with spinach and tomato on toast (below, $14). This didn’t sound like enough to me, so I also ordered extra chorizo ($4) and mushrooms ($3)!

Shanklish refers to the cheese on top of my eggs, originating from Lebanon/Egypt. It didn’t seem to make a big difference to your usual poached eggs. The chorizo was also cut very thickly, which I found a bit strange as I prefer to eat it in smaller pieces.

20140524_133839Service was quite accommodating and friendly, but being seated outside you really have to grab their attention before they disappear inside again. There were some louder and more demanding customers near our table, but the staff seemed to handle them quite well.

I do like their outdoor seating area, and don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much indoors. I might have had a different experience if I got to try that breakfast special – but maybe not. I’ll probably never know! Unfortunately the other dishes on the menu weren’t as exotic and exciting as they sounded.

Crowded House is located 48 Ferguson St, Williamstown. They are open 7am-3pm weekdays and 8am-3pm weekends. For their menu, you can see some of it in my picture above or check out Consider The Sauce’s old review here with a similar menu.

Crowded House on Urbanspoon

Bowery to Williamsburg

It’s rare that I venture to the city during the weekend for brunch, but the Mother’s Day Classic gave us a good reason to reward ourselves after.

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Most brunch places on my list were a bit far from the Flinders area though, but I remembered there was a bit of hype around Bowery to Williamsburg when it first opened. Located on a laneway of Flinders St, there was bound to be hype as they are run by the same team behind The Hardware Societe.
20140511_100528It basically serves brunch with an American twist, hence the name (Bowery – New York, Williamsburg – Virginia). The menu (above) is short and sweet whilst printed on the back of a postcard.
20140511_100546When the hype first started, all I heard of was the peanut butter hot chocolate (below). Served with a Reese’s peanut butter cup and in a trippy cup that’s designed to look scrunched, the taste was definitely rich of peanut butter. The only issue was it got unpleasantly clumpy at the bottom of the drink.
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My friend and I ended up choosing the pulled pork hash ($16, below) with broccoli rabe, poached eggs and corn bread. It was served with a sauce on the side, which to me tasted like a barbecue sauce with a hint of mustard, demonstrating the American influence.

20140511_102937One egg fell off the top of my pile of food and onto the plate on the way to our table, so my friend’s dish was more suitable for photos. I enjoyed the dish as it’s something different from your normal brunch fare.

The pork was a little cold but I’m not sure if it was because we were waiting for the last dish to come out or it was genuinely not that hot. The portions of each ingredient was reasonable and I really enjoyed the sauce on the side.
20140511_102943Meanwhile, my friend was eyeing a dish on the table next to us. It happened to be one of the shakshouka eggs, similar to baked eggs. Out of the the pastrami, salmon and sweet potato, she chose the hot smoked salmon ($16, below).
20140511_103229The dish looked great but unfortunately it felt like the salmon didn’t suit the shakshouka’s sauce that well. I think pastrami would have been my choice, served with a mint salad and yoghurt.
I wouldn’t mind coming back to try some other dishes but it’s not as though I’ll be rushing to come back.

The place was busy when we arrived but luckily a table had just left, which spared us a wait. Unfortunately the round tables outside are quite small and they had to pull up an extra chair for all our condiments etc to make room for our food. The long rectangular tables are more spacious but evidently more popular and often taken.

At the counter is a sandwich bar where you can choose what ingredients and spreads or “schmears” (as the sign says) you would like, so you can treat yourself with an American sandwich for lunch.

I am constantly eager to try brunch places that don’t just serve the everyday items and this was a nice addition to the mix. I find it at least a bit more interesting than Hardware Societe itself. They also have a few specials so don’t forget to take a look at these too – check out the buttermilk pancakes with lavender marshmallow listed above!

Bowery to Williamsburg is located at 16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne CBD and is open 7.30-3pm weekdays and 8.30am-3pm weekends. Check out the menu here.

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon