it’s pretty unusual for me to spend two days of a weekend brunching in the same suburb, nevermind street! but that was exactly what happened on the afl grand find weekend when i followed up a visit to three one2one with a visit to lumberjack, just a few doors down on bridge road in richmond.
every time i think of the word ‘lumberjack’ i think of the monty python song:
‘oh, i’m a lumberjack, and i’m okay,
i sleep all night and i work all day’
which is silly really for a few reasons: 1. i’ve never actually watched a monty python movie, and 2. let’s be honest the lyrics are pretty ridiculous. i’m not completely sure what ‘lumberjack’ has to do with the cafe version in richmond – unless it’s something to do with pressing flowers + hanging around in bars + eating scones on wednesdays? must remember to ask these guys the story behind the name next time!
the interior is very light-filled + quite spacious, with a couple of rooms + table sizes to choose from. but the real treat is the wooden deck out the back – a lovely spot to enjoy the sun. we had some issues with the outdoor umbrella working but the waitstaff were pretty accommodating with helping to set it up – here’s hoping it’s fixed before the even hotter sunnier summer days though!
coffee served up is atomica -a boutique roaster/café originating in brunswick st fitzroy in 1996. since then, they have expanded as a wholesaler across australia. the atomica dark blend, used by lumberjack, is a signature blend of south and central south-American beans, with strong hazelnut and dark chocolate flavours. definitely hit the spot.
there were also some beautiful fresh juices on offer – perfect for a sunny spring morning. we opted for fresh apple and a lovely ‘blood orange, carrot, apple + ginger juice’. so satisfying.
poached eggs and bacon
i always think that a place that can nail a breakfast staple like bacon and eggs is a good sign – and always leaves me excited for the other dishes. in this case: sourdough toast. tick. poached eggs – gooey and perfectly cooked. tick. bacon – delicious, but not enough of it. half-a-tick. overall, not too bad and enjoyed by both the men at our table.
the jack’s french toast: brioche french toast with caramelised banana, butterscotch sauce, persian fairy floss and vanilla ice-cream
indulgence much? i think so! the brioche was perfectly cooked – crispy outer, fluffy inner. the banana was only slightly caramelised which left a lovely portion of the fruit still fresh and summery. add in the butterscotch sauce, fairy floss and ice-cream and this was definitely a sugar overload… but hey, i didn’t eat for the rest of the day… so that makes it ok right?! 😉
sweet corn and ricotta fritters with slow-roasted tomatoes, bacon + avocado salsa
from one extreme to the other, my more health-conscious (read more self-controlled) friend, went for the fritters which had an abundance of corn… which is waaay better than some corn fritters that appear to be missing with corn! the slow-roasted tomatoes were sooo juicy and the fresh avocado had been lightly tossed in onion + herb oil which presented a lovely flavour combination all-round.
raspberry, ricotta + lemon hotcakes with poached apples + organic vanilla bean yoghurt
presentation wise these weren’t the prettiest (my inner neat-freak likes symmetrical shaped pancakes), but flavour-wise these were exceptional. the lemon flavour was really prominent and the poached apples were soft and juicy, with the yoghurt pulling it all together. a wonderful summer dish.
the waitstaff were definitely attentive + efficient and also pretty friendly… i was a little put off by a few comments from one of the girls comparing “real photographers” and food bloggers, especially given this was an unplanned visit from a full-paying customer (me)… i’ve since learnt she no longer works there… still, we were accompanied by great friends and the backyard deck is a gem. and overall, food and coffee get a huge tick from me – consistent, delicious and of a really high-standard. plus, it gives me a chance to sing that catchy tune each time i think of ‘lumberjack’.
verdict: oh, i’m a lumberjack, and i’m okay!