martin st cafe + providore, brighton

the husband and i headed down to the bay-side suburb of brighton this morning to catch-up with some great friends for brunch. our friends recommended we try their “local” .. the martin st cafe + providore. i am a city-living-convert since moving to melbourne, but i also love visiting its suburbs – it’s amazing how self-contained and how much culture can be packed into a single ‘main’ street… seriously, you could almost never leave your suburb and not be left wanting! martin st brighton is no exception – hairdressers, boutiques, beauty salons, restaurants, gym and great cafes.

the providore is quite unassuming at street level, but as you step through the long-narrow cafe there is a great covered + heated area and further outdoor space in a gorgeous courtyard in the back complete with umbrellas. the cafe was brimming with cycle-clubs and mum’s groups this morning, only adding to the “local” feel.

martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

flat white, martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

sot latte, martin st cafe + providore

martin st cafe + providore

eb tea, martin st cafe + providore

coffee was strong and consistent and mine came with soy milk served just right. english breakfast tea served with tea leaves (not the bagged variety) + the husband was pleased that there were juice, smoothie and milkshake options available.

smashed avocado on ciabatta with pepita seeds, fetta + tomato.
breakfast of choice for my friend and from the familiarity of his order to the waiter, i have a feeling he orders this regularly! avocado looked perfectly ripe + this dish oozed freshness. topped with some micro-hebs + olive oil, it was safe to say there wasn’t a crumb left at the end!

martin st cafe + providore

smashed avocado, martin st cafe + providore

martin st eggs: poached eggs on toasted ciabatta with crispy bacon, avocado + hollandaise.
this came recommended by both friends and waiter, so i thought i’d better take their word for it and gave it a try! the hollandaise was light and not overpowering of the freshness of the avocado. poached eggs were perfectly cooked. the serving sizes of all our dishes were extremely generous, and i definitely struggled to finish it all. the only downside for me – the ciabatta was quite difficult to eat with a very crunchy crust which took effort to cut through – i probably would’ve preferred a grain toast or sourdough.

martin st cafe + providore

martin st eggs, martin st cafe + providore

scrambled eggs + bacon
generous serving of creamy, fluffy, soft eggs. and this was the half-serve!

scrambled eggs + bacon, martin st cafe + providore

scrambled eggs + bacon, martin st cafe + providore

 

overall, the providore is laid-back and friendly. staff were attentive + appeared to know many of the customers by name. whilst the food wasn’t what you’d call “trendy” and is unlikely to make urbanspoon’s ‘top 10′ list – this is yet another fantastic example of the wholesome, honest food synonymous with melbourne’s many suburbs.

verdict: a lovely bayside local
find: www.facebook.com/pages/Martin-Street-Cafe-Providore/

 

Martin Street Cafe & Providore on Urbanspoon

townhouse, toorak

first impressions aren’t everything; but they do go a long way… which is why i was already optimistic about our brunch when i walked into townhouse this morning and immediately greeted with friendly smiles and hellos by two of the four staff.

townhouse is a gorgeous light-filled cafe on toorak rd and the second venture of prospect espresso’s founders matt ward and mitchell haworth. the decor in this warm converted townhouse is crisp and clean with beautiful timber tables and high ceilings – a definite respite from the freezing sleet-like rain that was blanketing melbourne today.

townhouse, toorak

townhouse, toorak

townhouse, toorak

townhouse, toorak

townhouse, toorak

flat white, townhouse

townhouse, toorak

soy latte, townhouse

the coffee was mild, smooth and delicious and after watching the barista’s work i could see they take great pride and care in their quality.

omelette with rocket, herbs + goats cheese with beetroot chutney + sourdough toast.
perfectly fluffy omelette with a layer of  herbs + strong delicious goats cheese in the middle. the sourdough toast was something special – thick-cut, soft and fresh and the beetroot chutney was incredible. the chutney tasted of star anise, an unexpected but delicious combination.

townhouse, toorak

omelette, townhouse

poached eggs + bacon. my husband’s saturday morning ‘default’ breakfast, but delicious none the less. egg yolks were runny + the bacon was good quality aussie style.

townhouse, toorak

bacon + eggs, townhouse

rye, chia seed + blueberry pancakes with vanilla mousse + maple syrup
firstly, the pancakes were golden and crispy on the edges, filled with blueberries in the middle + overall really tasty. coupled with light and airy vanilla mousse + blueberry sauce – these were a perfect sweet end to a really enjoyable meal.

townhouse, toorak

pancakes, townhouse

townhouse, toorak

pancakes, townhouse

throughout our meal the friendly service continued. add to that the great quality food and coffee, this is a real find in the midst of toorak village.

verdict: great first impression backed up with great food, coffee + service
found: www.facebook.com/Townhousetoorak

Townhouse on Urbanspoon

proud mary, collingwood

i dragged the husband out for a well overdue #walkandbrunch on sunday and after seeing on instagram this week that proud mary in collingwood were now serving almondmilkco decided this was where we were heading. 4.9km later with a lovely walk through treasury gardens and across into the converted warehouse district of collingwood, we were in the line with very hungry tummy’s. the place was packed – a great noisy vibe – but thankfully only a 15 minute wait.

proud mary, collingwood

proud mary, collingwood

proud mary, collingwood

almond milk latte, proud mary

first stop… almond milk latte. this was definitely the best almond milk latte i’ve had, and while it had settled by the time it got over to my table, it re-stirred and blended together well again and didn’t taste at all watery like many i’ve had previously. the coffee itself was strong, robust and complimented the nutty milk well.

proud mary, collingwood

brunch, proud mary

proud mary, collingwood

avocado, proud mary

avocado on seed + sprout toast, charred corn + green onion tabouleh, house ricotta, harissa + roast baby tomato.
this was delicious and so incredibly filling. the toast was actually great (not just a side thought that i usually don’t eat), and the avocado + corn topping was delicious. grilled corn = winner (if you’ve seen my post on manchester press this was one small criticism i had of their avocado + corn bagel).  roast tomato was perfectly cooked + i loved the dill – an under-utilised but one of my favourite herbs. however, the absolute best part was the harissa sauce – adding some chilli to the dish and really trying everything together … genius.

proud mary, collingwood

bacon + eggs, proud mary

poached eggs + bacon – soft, runny yolks and good quality bacon. husband was happy.

proud mary, collingwood

bircher muesli, proud mary

bircher muesli, rhubarb, orange labna, chia, puffed grains + mint
it seems every bircher ordered in melbourne comes with stewed rhubarb at the moment, but trust me i’m not complaining! i love this winter fruit, especially when teamed with porridge, granola or in this instance bircher. the touch of mint flavour was lovely and the crunchy puffed grains (rice bubbles) added some great texture. all in all, a pretty good bircher.

proud mary, collingwood

flat white, proud mary

proud mary, collingwood

fig + apricot toast, proud mary

fig + apricot toast with citrus mascarpone + creamed honey.
i used to buy this toast on a weekly basis from the eumundi markets when we lived in qld – it is (in my opinion) the best fruit toast out there with delicious chunky fruit pieces. i loved the creamed honey served with this and the mascarpone was a bit of a weekend indulgence.

we did have a small incident though, which left me a little disappointed. i originally wanted to try the haloumi breakfast but unfortunately was told they were sold out for the day. understandable given it was just past noon, and i was happy enough to move on to my 2nd savoury option (the avocado). our next preference was to share the ricotta hotcakes as we had major food envy watching four others around our big table devour this delicious-looking dish (served with gooey mandarin caramel, honeycomb + ice cream). again told they were sold out for the day, and we settled for the bircher.

i moved on and would’ve been ok if it had been left at that. that was, until the girl opposite us ordered the … “ricotta hotcakes!”. given the sold out notice i’d received just 5 minutes earlier, i expected to see the wait staff come back to profusely apologise that there were none left… but no, a short while later she was delivered her dish of delicious looking ricotta-hotcakes! i don’t know if it was mis-communication by the floor staff or issues in the kitchen but it didn’t send a great message (insert annoyed face here).

i don’t want the sold out hotcakes to undermine the enjoyment that i did have - the food and coffee really is as fantastic as the reputation that the proud mary name carries – but next time i’m told something is sold out, i’ll be double-questioning it before settling for a 2nd preference.

verdict: much love for the harissa + almond milk latte; not so much for my “sold out” hotcakes
find: www.proudmarycoffee.com.au
Proud Mary on Urbanspoon