Cheerio

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI don’t visit Richmond as much as I’d like, given the endless dining options in the area. I did manage to sneak in a quick brunch there with a few friends though, and we chose to dine at Cheerio, a little cafe located off the main road.

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Omelette w/ Triple Cream Brie, Basil, Gypsy Ham, and Confit Tomatoes, served with Pumpkin Soy Toast – $17.00

I’ve been really feeling egg-heavy dishes lately, and upon hearing great things about the omelette at Cheerio, it was a no-brainer to order.

The omelette was extremely soft and creamy, and the triple cream brie certainly helped in that respect. It is definitely not a light breakfast, but hey, I knew what I was getting myself into. Having said that though, the confit tomatoes and the asparagus hiding beneath the pillow of omelette did prevent the omelette itself from becoming dangerously heavy, and I was left quite impressed.

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Omelette w/ Triple Cream Brie, Basil, Gypsy Ham, and Confit Tomatoes, served with Pumpkin Soy Toast – $17.00

The pumpkin soy toast itself was no ordinary bread, being from Woodfrog Bakery, one of my recent finds at a Sunday Market, the toast was quite structured, and did not disintegrate even when I piled the omelette on it.

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Avocado, Tomato Medley, Basil, Meredith Goat’s Cheese, Sumac Dressing, Toasted Pepitas, and Tomato Salt on Pumpkin Soy Toast – $16.00 With 2 Poached Eggs – $4.00

The other dish that I got to try was Cheerio’s take on the classic smashed avocado. The chunks of avocado were of exceptionally high quality, none of that under or over-ripe business here. I always love the addition of nuts and seeds to any dish, and the toasted pepitas were no exception.

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Cheerio seems a lot more homely than some other cafes around the area, and we really enjoyed our time here. If you’re looking for a bit of an escape next time you’re on the bustling streets of Richmond, take a detour and pay Cheerio a visit, I’m sure you won’t leave disappointed.

How to get here:
Catch the train and get off at Richmond Station, and Cheerio is a short five minutes walk away.

Cheerio Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mr Hendricks

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It’s no secret that Mr Hendricks is one of my brunch go-tos in the Eastern suburbs. Its space may seem a bit small upon first glance, however, there is a courtyard, and an elevated courtyard on top of that, preventing a wait even on a Saturday morning.

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Cold Drip

Given the scorching weather on the day, I settled for the cold drip. The cold drip at Mr Hendricks was served with sparkling water on the side, which I was quite confused about at the start. However, I quickly realised that the sparkling water was to be poured into the cold drip, making it a rather refreshing drink.

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Croque Madame – $16.00

The Croque Madame is a new addition to the menu, and in true Mr Hendricks fashion, the serving was huge! Sandwich between the two slices of buttery and crunchy bread was a ham hock terrine, elevating the dish from more pedestrian renditions of the sandwich. The bechamel sauce and the gruyere cheese added more creaminess to the dish. Although delicious, this dish was quite decadent, and could have benefited from a small salad or the like to lighten it up a little.

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Rosemary Chips – $7.50

A balanced diet requires some chips on the side, and these are some of my favourite chips in town. The thick cut chips were fried to perfection, golden on the outside and super potato-ey on the inside, and the rosemary salt was earthy and comforting.

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I’m so glad that Mr Hendricks is on my side of town, its more than reasonable price, ever-changing menu and just general good vibes means that I will be returning for years to come.

How to get there:
Mr Hendricks is located on Whitehorse Road, catch tram #109 and get off at Northcote Avenue/Whitehorse Road, the cafe is just a minute walk away.

Mr Hendricks Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Humble Rays

Opening earlier this year, Humble Rays has quickly become a contender for having the longest queue in the Carlton area during brunch hours. Its pastel colour palette, plethora of air-hanging plants, and Asian-inspired menu that frequents Instagram ensured that it had a cult following. Arriving at midday on Wednesday, we still had to wait for 30 minutes, proving its popularity.Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

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Iced Matcha Latte – $6.00

Hearing rave reviews about the Matcha Latte, and given the humid weather on the day, it was a no-brainer to order the iced matcha latte for my drinks. The matcha flavour was indeed a lot more prominent than other matcha lattes I’ve tried in the past, and I had to restrain myself from finishing it too quickly.

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Steak Sanga – $18.50

I strayed away from some of the more popular dishes and ordered the steak sanga, the serving was a lot larger than I expected, and am used to around Melbourne.

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Steak Sanga – $18.50

The goodies that were sandwiched between the roll included the titular flank steak, cheddar cheese, chilli bacon jam, balsamic onion chutney, rocket pesto mayo, and some rocket to trick you into thinking it’s a balanced meal. The only problem that I had with the sandwich was that it was quite difficult to eat, however once I had overcome that, the dish was delicious. The chilli bacon jam and rocket pesto mayo elevated it from a steak sanga that you can get from your local fish and chips, and the quality ingredients together presented a simple but tasty meal.

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Egg Benny – $18.50

The eggs benny is probably the most raved about dish from Humble Rays, and my friend liked it so much that she ordered it both times that she visited the cafe. The pork belly was braised to the point that it fell apart at the touch of the fork, and melted in the mouth. The ginger flavour wasn’t too overpowering in the pork belly, which means that even if you were not a fan of ginger, you’d still enjoy the dish. The korokke was akin to a potato rosti, but a lot of crispier, and the yuzu hollandaise prevented the dish from being too heavy.

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Green Tea Skookie – $12.50

Even though we were pretty full by this point, we still had some room for the green tea skookie. Skookie is essentially a cookie baked in a skillet, topped off with marshmallow, ice cream and cookie crumbs. The soft cookie paired with the gooey marshmallow perfectly, and ice cream is never a bad idea in dessert. The idea is ingenious, and we demolished the skookie in minutes.

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Even in the saturated brunch scene, Humble Rays is able to set itself apart with dishes that are both reasonably priced and interesting, whilst not losing touch with the most important factor – tastiness of the food. There’s a reason why it has been able to draw a crowd amongst other cafes around the area, and I can see it continue to thrive amongst the student population nearby.

How to get there:
Humble Rays is located on Bouverie Street, catch any of the trams from the Melbourne Central tram stop on the Swanston Street heading away from Flinders Street Station, and get off at Queensberry Street/Swanston Street, and the cafe is two minutes walk away.

Humble Rays Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

White Mojo

White Mojo took the Melbourne brunch scene by storm in 2016, having opened two more cafes already, with one extending into dinner service.

We visited its Balwyn location on this occasion, and upon entering into the cafe, the first thing that you will notice is just how spacious it is. With marble and light-coloured wood as its colour palette, the space was airy and sophiscated, down to the fresh flowers that’s placed on every table.

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Iced Matcha Latte – $7.00

I strayed away from coffee because the weather was extremely humid, and chose to cool down with the iced matcha latte. The drink came in a tall glass, and had a good amount of bitterness from the matcha.

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Double Cheese Chilli Scrambled Eggs – $21.50

Although I don’t typically go for scrambled eggs at brunch, this is the award winning dish from White Mojo, and I decided to give it a go. The eggs were scrambled through with parmesan, cheddar and corn, and were placed on top of a slice of smoked belly bacon, smothered with chilli mayo, and all sandwiched between a ink brioche bun.

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Double Cheese Chilli Scrambled Eggs – $21.50

White Mojo placed its own flare onto the traditional breakfast dish, and it was a decadent yet simple affair. The eggs were silky smooth, and the cheese added some more richness, while the corn offered a contrasting texture. The chilli mayo had a kick to it, and the ink bun was not only visually appealing, but added more substance to the dish.

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Wagyu Meatballs – $17.50

The wagyu meatball was another winning dish. The meatballs themselves were so tender, and the tomato sugo that the meatballs were being stewed in had a complex depth of flavour, perfect for dipping in with the toasted bread on the side.

It is clear to see why White Mojo is capable of such a quick expansion.  With a refined and interesting menu that has most items under $20, laid-back atmosphere and professional service, it is a place that guarantees an enjoyable meal, something that is actually quite hard to come by these days.

How to get here:
White Mojo is located on Whitehorse Road, catch tram #109 and get off at stop 46 Balwyn Cinema, and the cafe is sitting right by the tram stop.

White Mojo Speciality Coffee & Roaster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Proud Mary

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Ah Proud Mary, it was one of the first hipster cafes that I ever stepped inside, back when bricke wall and warehouse-esque space was still a rarity. It also does one of my favourite coffees in Melbourne, so I was keen to visit the place again when a friend wanted to catch up around the Fitzroy area.

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Skinny Flat White – $4.00

This cup of coffee reached all my expectations. Earthy, complex, with the perfect amount of acidity and bitterness, it sure went down a treat.

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The Potato Hash – $21.50

Wanting to walk further down memory lane, I ordered the classic dish at Proud Mary, the potato hash. The name of the dish is deceptively simple, and other than the titular potato hash, there was some smoked shoulder bacon, crispy as ever; poached eggs, because hello, what’s a classic brunch dish without some perfectly cooked eggs; baby kale salad to make you feel good about your breakfast of choice, and bagna cauda, a sauce made of anchovies, and takes the otherwise good dish to a whole other level. Every element was in harmony, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Omelette

My friend ordered an older rendition of the omelette, which is no longer on the menu, but has been replaced by an enticing sounding crab and potato omelette instead. Anyway, the omelette had the perfect amount of runniness, and beside thinking that the offering of butter was a bit strange, my friend only had positive things to say about what seemed to be quite a normal dish.

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There’s a reason why Proud Mary is able to keep its place amongst many of its newer competitors, and that’s the combination of excellent coffee, classic brunch dishes with a twist, and a somewhat aloof service that is nevertheless friendly enough, to remind you that hey, we are still in the heart of hipster town.

After just having another quick look at their updated menu, I’ve got my eyes set on some new things to try, although it’ll be hard to steer away from the potato hash. Guess I’ll just have to talk my dining companions into sharing next time hey.

How to get here:
Proud Mary is located on Oxford Street, catch tram #86 towards Bundoora RMIT from Parliament station and get off at Hodgson St/Smith St, and Proud Mary is two minutes walk away.

Proud Mary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lux Foundry

Easter break came at a much needed time, and my friend and I made the most out of the one day with the good weather to do a day trip to Trentham Falls, which was really pretty! The walk was a little scary for me, but rock climbing’s just really not my thing.

You what is know my thing though? Brunch, always brunch. Case and point, if I know I’m going on a semi-hike, then there’s only one thing that will get me out of bed that morning, you guessed it, brunch.

And that’s how we ended up taking a little detour, and went to Brunswick for some food before heading to Trentham Fall.

Good brunch places are definitely not in short supply on this end of town, we chose Lux Foundry because it has a very vegetarian friendly menu, which was perfect since one of us is a vegetarian.4

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Middle Eastern Breakfast – $17.50

Even though I’m not a vegetarian, and usually always go for things like bacon, pulled pork, pork belly, bacon, bacon, bacon, I wanted something on the lighter side on this particular occasion, and ordered the Middle Eastern breakfast. It consisted of two poached eggs, two falafels, beetroot relish, smokey baba ganoush, and the carb came in the form of grilled zataar flat bread.

The zataar meant that the flat bread was good enough to eat on its own, but even better when dipped in the ooey egg yolk, or some baba ganoush. The falafels were crispy on the outside, and had a good mix of spices inside to keep things interesting. The beetroot relish provided some acidity if you find the dish too heavy, which it wasn’t in my book anyway.

Overall, the dish worked really well together, and kept me full and happy on the hike, or as happy as I can be when hiking anyway.

21The beautiful weather on the day meant that we could seat in the courtyard, where we spotted/squealed over many people enjoying the food with their paw friends.

Lux Foundry has a loyal following, especially considering the fierce competition in the area, and it’s easy to see why, the half page menu was interesting enough, and the friendly service was highly appreciated. Give it a go if you’ve tried all the places on Sydney Road, and is looking for something that’s a tad bit more hidden away.

How to get here:
Lux Foundry is located on Hope Street, catch tram #19 from Melbourne Central or Flinders St Station, and get off at stop #24, Lux Foundry is a five minutes walk away from the tram stop.

Lux Foundry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Green Refectory

Green Refectory is somewhat of an institution on Sydney Road, and after all these years, I finally managed to visit it myself.

The menu is sprawled over the blackboards over the counter, and the glass cabinets are filled with cakes, pastries, and salads, you are definitely spoilt for choice here.

The service is minimal, find a table on your own, and order up at the counter, and you’ll be given a whiteboard with a symbol on it as your table number, and in a few short moments, the food will be at your table.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

The atmosphere is the perfect sort of laid back, relaxing place, the type that make you feel like you can stay for hours, whether chatting away with a friend, indulging in a book, or getting some work done, and there were definitely people doing all those things during my visit.

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Skinny Flat White – $3.70

My friend and I met up at 9am, which meant that a coffee was definitely needed. The flat white was smooth and velvety, and the adorable old school saucer added a cute touch.

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Breakfast Stack – $12.00

Being a first time visitor, I thought it was obligatory that I order one of Green Refectory’s most well-known dishes, the breakfast stack. The tall stack consisted of a potato rosti, tomatoes, bacon, grilled haloumi, spinach, and an egg on top. The potato rosti was pretty much a mash, but it was tasty nonetheless, with bits of melted cheese throughout. The whole stack was tied together with a tomato relish, and although it’s truly nothing special, it had all the key ingredients of a good breakfast, and for a little more than $10, there really isn’t much to complain about.

Green Refectory certainly had a lot to offer, and although it’s definitely not your refined brunch, and does not have that many innovative dishes on offer, given its sheer quantity of choices, everyone can surely find something that they like. I heard it can get quite busy around meal times, but it really was a quiet and relaxing place when we visited at the earlier part of the day, and it is a place that I am likely to return to, especially since it’s literally right on the doorsteps of a tram stop.

How to get there:
Green Refectory is located on Sydney Road, get on tram #19 from Melbourne Central or Flinders Street Station, and get off at stop #20 Barkly Square/Sydney Road, and it’s literally 10 meters away.

Green Refectory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato