a close girlfriend of mine has recently gone through a pretty rough pregnancy (for any first time mums or hyperemesis survivors out there, this is her blog) which unfortunately put a stop to our brunch dates which were a regular occurrence pre-pregnancy. however, two months ago she + her hubby welcomed a gorgeous baby boy into the world. which means she can now eat again for the first time in nine months! so…. we celebrated as all good foodie friends should… with brunch! yay!
our cafe of choice this morning was freestyle espresso, another cafe i’d yet to discover in south melbourne with a small but homely space just three laneways over from the south melbourne markets – and conveniently across the road from my husband’s favourite guitar pedal shop. i’m in total agreement with their pavement sign… mmm bacon… mmm coffee. another unique touch i found was in their menu – the right hand column listed their local producers and suppliers with a little blurb about each, but also you have to read the paragraph below regarding their empathetic chef… it made me smile!
freestyle serve allpress espresso, an NZ brand which is now also hand-roasted in melbourne, sydney and japan. a full-bodied flavour and one of the few cafes in melbourne where i’ve seen mugs served for a while. absolutely love the blue china! they also have a fantastic list of tea and fresh juices on offer. this watermelon, apple, mint + lime ‘cooler’ was refreshing and zesty.
avo smash fresh avocado smash on toast with vine-ripened tomato, feta parsley + pink radish salsa with a poached egg. served on a seeded noisette bread, this was a light + clean dish. the crispness of the radish salsa really complimented the creamy avocado and the juicy-ness of the tomato married well with the full-flavoured feta. as far as avo smashes go – clean, well-executed and flavoursome.
poached eggs and bacon. both of our husband’s opted for your standard poached eggs and bacon. and these were executed perfectly. runny yolks and a super-generous serve of greasy, tasty, meaty bacon… mmm… bacon.
benny – the freestyle way – noisette sourdough and free range poached eggs and bacon with slow-roasted tomatoes and hollandaise sauce. my choice for the morning. i found the sourdough a bit too hard and crunchy so unfortunately barely touched it (i think a single thicker slice toasted instead may have left the middle soft). but everything else was fantastic. gooey and runny eggs teemed with a really tangy and mustardy hollandaise. the slow-roasted tomatoes were juicy and had been roasted with a herb mix (i think of thyme, rosemary etc.) which added a beautiful complex + earthy flavour. and, again another generous serve of that delicious bacon… mmm… bacon.
all in all a really great find in south melbourne – with our overall experience added to by the small and intimate atmosphere in the cafe which would be perfect for a mums-get-together or a quiet spot for reading/working. i bet the locals love this spot! the service is excellent and i admire the unique and personalised touches that they’ve applied to their menu. i recently added this one to my ‘guide to brunch in south melbourne’ and have a feeling i’ll be back.
verdict: full of unique and personalised style in a lesser known (but just as cool!) street in south mebourne