Throughout my travels this year, I was able to spend a total of 4 weeks in Melbourne. Of course this was primarily for training purposes, but second on my to do list was cafe hopping.
Im a Sydney girl and will always hold it as my favourite city, but on the food front Melbourne has it beat. Melbourne takes a lot of pride in their coffee and ‘breakfast all day’, focusing on creative combinations and perfect presentation.
Pancakes, puddings, and pannacotta. If you don’t offer these three ‘p’s’ on your brunch menu then you’re not keeping up. (And with a side of fresh flowers, please).
For all the sweet tooths, take a look at my top 5 sweet brunch spots in Melbourne:
Location: South Yarra
My order: Sticky date pancakes with butterscotch ice cream, figs, berries, palm sugar caramel & malted crumble.
Gorgeous and delicious. This order was one of the many sweet brunch options that I wanted to try at Darling Cafe. The problem that I often find with pancake orders are that they are too dry, but the dates add moisture making these the perfect consistency. I loved that the fruit was seasonal, and the crumble on top was a nice addition for some needed texture. The ice cream on top was a nice surprise, but definitely pushed this brunch menu item into the dessert realm. The “I’ve done a killer session and deserve a treat” type of order.
My order: Chia seed pudding with fresh mango, nuts, maple coconut crumble & watermelon sorbet
This dish was elegant, and fit in well with the fine dining appearance of Middletown Cafe. Every ingredient felt well thought out and tasted clean and fresh. I was particularly impressed with the watermelon sorbet, and how well it complimented the chia pudding making the overall dish the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Nutritionally, the chia seeds, fresh fruits, and nuts make you walk away feeling energized and healthy.
The Kettle Black
Location: South Melbourne
My order: Hotcake with ricotta, blueberries, maple, cream, seeds & nuts
A comforting and creative dish, the hotcake is a signature order at The Kettle Black Cafe. This thing is massive and very filling, so if you have the option I’d suggest sharing. The texture of the hotcake itself is fluffy on the inside with a baked chewiness on the outside. The combination of nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit was visually beautiful and also added a nice crunch to every bite. The double cream was not too sweet, which helped cut through the syrup and balance out the flavours.
Location: South Melbourne
My order: Pecan and maple granola with vanilla bean yogurt pannacotta & fresh strawberries
Similar to the chia pudding at Middletown Cafe, this sweet brunch order is light and healthy. Wynyard Cafe is very chill and homey, and this dish was a perfect reflection of that vibe. The vanilla pannacotta was smooth and delicate and had a nice balance of sweet and sour. I loved that the granola was both crunchy and chewy because it felt very homemade. The pecan nuts and sprinkle of cinnamon were a nice addition and made me think of ‘Merica.
My order: Nutella panacotta with nut butter banana sushi, honey joy crumb, strawberries, pomegranate molasses & torched marshmallows.
Wow. A blank canvas transformed into a work of art, this nutella pannacotta is the signature order at Penta Elsternwick. Every ingredient has been reworked to create visual complexity and all hold a special role in the overall dish. The nutella pannacotta is very rich and with the addition of marshmallows, made the meal feel much more like dessert than brunch. Don’t order this is you are crazy hungry as it is worth it to take your time appreciating every element on the plate.