Sonido! specialises in Colombian cuisine, something that I don’t have too much experience nor knowledge with. The small cafe is vibrant and colourful, offering a glimpse into the tenacious Latino culture.
Starting off with an iced coffee, the tall glass of drink was quite acidic but easy to drink nonetheless.
Arepas is sort of like bread made from corn colour, meaning that it’s gluten free for the celiacs out there. The arepa was soft and a little chewy, being the perfect vehicle for the chargrilled chorizo. Speaking of which, the long slice of chorizo was juicy and flavoursome, probably one of the best that I’ve had. Paired with the cool salsa and guacamole on the side, this was a simply but satisfying plate.
I was too full by this point to try out the Portuguese tart, which I’ve heard great things about. Guess that just means I’ll have to return with a bigger appetite.
How to get here: Sonido! is located on Gertrude Street, ten minutes walk from Parliament station.
I hate hiking. There I said it. So in order to turn this upsetting event into a somewhat joyous one, and to ensure that we have enough energy for the actual hike, we made a detour and stopped at The Jolimont for brunch before heading off to Wilsons Prom.
Balance is the key to life, hence why the French Maple was a no-brainer to order on this particular occasion. The French toast was quite dense, but made for an interesting base for the essential toppings of eggs benedict. The runny egg yolks actually helped to counteract the richness of the hollandaise, which was made with more butter than usual. This is definitely not for those who are not willing to clot up their arteries first thing in the morning, as its indulgence cannot be ignored.
The smoked salmon eggs benedict swapped out English muffins for hash browns, which stayed crispy throughout the meal. The generous layers of vibrant smoked salmon made this a more-than-substantial plate. We did think that the obligatory side salad with the sole ingredient of rocket was a bit heavy-handed.
The Jolimont screamed neighbourhood cafe from top to bottom, with regulars being greeted by their first names by the waitstaff, simple and no-fuss menu, and a price-point that’s well below what I’ve become accustomed to with cafes that are located closer to the CBD.
Although the menu may not appear exciting to some, it was a satisfying meal regardless, with each dish done well. I’m happy to add The Jolimont to my list of cafes to return to if I’m in the mood for something local and comforting, with no frills attached.
How to get here: The Jolimont is located on Jolimont Road, catch bus #765 Mitcham to Box Hill and get off at Longbrae Avenue, and you’ll be at the door of the cafe.
I know I know, I said I’m over brunches. But when we’re talking about halloumi fries, homemade baklava, dukka toast and Middle Eastern platters, can I really say no that?
So here we are, trying to reconcile a wobbly relationship we’ve been having with brunch at Advieh, a cafe that does both brunch and dinner on certain days of the week, with a menu that promises great things.
The Middle Eastern flair does not stop at the menu at Advieh, the mosaic lanterns hanging from the ceiling, Moroccan-style tiles, and the dark and moody lighting were all reminiscent of a riad.
It was quite warm on the day and some ice-cold drinks were on order. Although the iced chai was not present on the menu, the waitress was happy to put in an order for us. The spice blend was quite strong, which is actually quite rare to come by in Melbourne, most chais being on the watery side of things.
My caffeine fix for the day came in the form of iced coffee. The drink was robust and a breeze to drink, keeping me cool in the process.
Advish’s take on the mix grill plate looked light and refreshing, and consisted of three Moroccan meatballs, a piece of grilled chicken shish, hummous and two salads of your choosing. There were three salads to choose from on the day, and after a long deliberation, we settled on the potato salad and the chickpea salad.
The meatballs were my favourite on the plate. The were juicy and flavoursome, benefiting from the ample use of spices. The chicken shish on the other hand, was a little dry, but made all better when had with the hummous. The use of vinaigrette and parsley meant that the potato salad was a touch lighter than your traditional mayo heavy variety. The creamy chickpea salad was another winner, this is the type of salad that I can get behind!
The size of the dukka toast was the first thing I noticed, Advieh definitely isn’t shy with their servings. The pairing of pesto and avocado is ingenuous, and one that I’ve actually never tried before, with the earthiness of the pesto contrasting beautifully with the creaminess indulgence of the avocado.
The halloumi fries were fried in a light batter, and the yoghurt sauce drizzled on top counterbalanced the saltiness of the squeaky fries. The pops of pomegranate also added some freshness to the plate.
Advieh is something special. With its succinct but versatile menu, friendly and unpretentious service, and reasonably priced and more-than-reasonably portioned food, it left me with a re-found appreciation for brunch. I’m already planning a re-visit to give their dinner menu a try.
How to get here: Advish is located on Gamon Street, a short six minutes walk from Seddon Station, which is on the Werribee line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.