In late August my Cousin E contacted me saying that her mum, Aunt Me, was bringing our Grandmother to Melbourne for the weekend and was I free to catch up with them. I was but said brunch would be best for me on that particular date.
Cousin E and I emailed back and forth a bit about where to go and Friends of Mine in Richmond was put forward as Cousin E had been there before and also Richmond was easier for me than somewhere in South Melbourne which had also been suggested. Because we didn’t want our elderly (89 in December) grandmother to have to wait for a table Cousin E rang Friends of Mine to book a table. I think they do take reservations but we couldn’t make one as our party was too small (five people as Cousin C was also joining us). But Cousin E was told if we were there by 10am we shouldn’t have a problem getting a table. We agreed to meet at 9:30 to be on the safe side and breakfast it was!
The Saturday in question turned out to be a beautiful day and the sun was shining when I rocked up to the corner of Swan and Stawell streets at 9:20, somehow snaring a car park right next to the café on Stawell street. The outside tables were full, which made me a bit nervous, and once inside it was a bit hard to tell who was actually in line for a table and who was waiting for their take-away coffee. Turned out I was second in the queue and the two guys in front of me were quickly whisked away leaving me as numero uno. Before I was served, Cousin E, Aunt Me and Grandmother arrived. We were led to a round table near the back of the café where Cousin C found us settling in.
Coffees were ordered for Cousin E, Cousin C and Aunt Me. There was no Jasmine tea to be had so I had an orange juice (served in a brown bottle). Grandmother wanted a coffee but she likes it with her food, which did cause some confusion with the wait staff but we eventually got there.
Friends of Mine has an extensive breakfast menu (served until 3pm) and while we all worked out pretty quickly what we were having, it took longer for us to find something suitable for Grandmother. She doesn’t eat eggs or bananas, and she liked the sound of the avocado on toast but that is served with mushrooms which she is allergic to (and there are no substitutions or alterations made to dishes on the weekend). The croissant with jam was deemed to be the winner, with Grandmother asking if it could be heated up for her.
Orders in, it was time to catch up on all the family gossip!
Thinking about it now, the food might have taken a little bit of time to come out but the place was packed, and the wait definitely didn’t get into the unacceptable time frame.
First to land on the table was Aunt Me’s toasted banana bread with maple syrup mascarpone, fresh banana, berry compote and crushed pistachio.
I think we were all very impressed with the look of this dish and Aunt Me said it lived up to its appearance.
Cousin E had poached eggs with avocado.
As stated earlier, Grandmother had the croissant with Bonne Maman jam.
Cousin C had the smashed avocado with thyme buttered mushrooms, marinated feta and torn basil on wholegrain toast, and she took up the option of a poached egg on top.
And I had the eggs benedict (smoked ham hock terrine, perfect poached googies, apple cider hollandaise and tincy wincy basil).
The eggs lived up to their menu description, and I did pause to consider taking a photo of the beautiful yolks after I had cut into them for those of you who like yolk porn (you know who you are!) but decided I would rather eat my breakfast than take another photo of it.
This was quite possibly the best eggs benedict I have had. Apart from the perfect eggs, the amount of sauce was spot on and I really liked the flavour of the terrine, which was much better than a few bits of ham or bacon.
We all enjoyed our breakfast and I think the staff were doing a good job keeping up with demand. There were a lot of people hanging around outside when we left just before 11am, so to avoid a wait, get there early!