We’re on a mission here, to have 43 breakfasts in Australia – that’s the number of days here less Christmas Day. Not sure if tomorrow is going to be tricky too, being NYD. For a start there is always the risk of missing breakfast altogether. Postscript: Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy!
Today it was to our present local: Jerry’s Milk Bar on Barkly St Elwood. One of what seems to me an increasing number of breakfast places in Melbourne that doesn’t have an internet presence, but I guess the fact is, it doesn’t need one. Out front it is a 1950s milk bar, out the back, a lovely area shaded by trees, with a small playgroud area for the kiddies. Today the footpath was inhabited by the dreaded Melbourne cyclists, but I understand that is not typical, just happens this time of year when their own cafes are closed for the season. I hope the cyclists will forgive my saying I’m glad that’s the case. They need to be segregated, they completely change the look and feel of the places they inhabit.
The menu is straightforward, not the most sophisticated, but there is not much on the menu I wouldn’t try. Two days running we have the same thing here: tea, coffee, juice and breakfast for two to share.
As you can see, that’s for two to share if you are intending to fast for the rest of the day. The mushrooms are shy, but there is a good serve of them too. The roesti is dill-flavoured, which makes sense served with smoked salmon, but I’m not overly fond of this herb even then, so I could do without. Nonetheless, this is pretty much roesti as it should be – most definitely not hashbrown. A bit of crunch on the edges, softer in the middle, as good a roesti as I expect from a breakfast cafe, by which I mean that roesti is one of those time-consuming things that one can’t expect to be perfect unless doing it at home because you really really care. Poached eggs just a little overdone – still runny, but should be a little runnier. Bacon has some crunch – yay. Toast is dry, not soggy. The spinach is plain sauted, but there is a little dish of hollandaise to have with it – indeed, we popped the spinach under the egg, then the sauce, voila, hand made Eggs Florentine. There was also tomato chutney in which we dunked the little sausages. The beans are okay: I have yet to ever rave about the compulsory house-cooked breakfast beans in Melbourne coffee shops, but these were towards the best I’ve had and certainly not a chore to dig into. You can’t see in the picture, but there are four pieces of toast in all, not two.
The only thing that fails and it is the thing that almost always fails are the tomatoes, which are pallid, juiceless, even a little hard to cut with a knife through that hard tasteless middle core. On the one hand, I can see from looking at South Melbourne market just the day before that it is hard to get decent tomatoes at the moment. On the other, I would prefer either to pay more for tomatoes that are edible, or to have none.
Coffee was average Australian good. Tea is better than average: when asked for an extra pot of hot water, I received an extra pot of hot water. Lots of places you get a small jug, or get charged extra or simply nothing comes. The juices are freshly squeezed and really good.