I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published September 6th 2013
Brighton, your secret is out
Sometimes you stop by a cafe and you just eat, you don't engage with the place at all, in fact you've probably forgotten what you ate and the name of the place before you've even gotten back into your car. Other times you're planning your next visit before you've even ordered. Something about the place just resonates and connects with all your senses and you declare it your new favourite cafe ever. Normally this only happens when you stumble upon a place accidentally because the place you were actually heading too was closed, no parking was available or all the seats were taken so you settle for whatever is closest and on the odd occasion you feel like you've hit the jackpot.
A hidden surburban gem
This was my exact experience when in desperation to get out of the house after a severe case of cabin fever and a child home from school again we headed through the doors of Balmains. Don't get me wrong, I've seen the place before, driven by, eaten down the street, shopped across the road but never actually taken a step inside. How I am kicking myself now.
Sometimes it's the little things that catch your eye
It was love at first sight on a cold and rainy Melbourne afternoon. The room is so homely and so cosy. Happy regulars who obviously took a lot less time acquainting themselves with this little suburban gem, laughed, chatted and made all sorts of happy sounds. The air was filled with compliments about the food they were eating so much so the chiefs ears must have been burning.
The backroom has a lovely art deco feel
We were settled in the back room which has a glorious art deco feel. Original lead light in the window, a central fireplace, a large lampshade creating a cosy nook and vintage black and white photographs decorating the walls. The menu is written on a chalkboard and has a little bit of everything without there being too much. Breakfast, lunch, brunch and snacks are all covered. This is the type of menu I dream about with so many tempting options I found myself contemplating my choice time and time again. Should I go for the Broccoli and Leek soup? The Avocado and Goats Cheese on Sourdough or the Sweet Potato Frittata?
It may sound simple but the taste is amazing
Thankfully there was time to decide over a delicious latte served in a beautiful cup with a gold rim. I'm a one coffee a day kind of girl but I was tempted to keep ordering a refill. They may as well have just bought me over a jug full. It was so delicious, bold and big in flavour. Obviously the crew here are experts behind a Synesso machine and send out Five Senses "Dark Horses" brew with a fabulous taste and aroma to match, perfect every time. I loved the pour your own hot chocolate and it made my daughter feel very grown up and so special.
Pour your own hot chocolate is a novel and fun tweak to an old favourite
I eventually ordered the Warm Roast Vegetable and Quinoa salad which had a really nice unexpected spicy kick and the cubed feta just melted and oozed its magic over every grain. My daughter went for the Ham, Swiss Cheese and Tomato Toastie Melt which may sound simple enough but it was way more amazing that the name insinuated and a huge serve too. In fact other than the crust being left behind, the plate was clean. There are dishes aimed at kids too, such as Cheesymite Soldiers but I fear she may have outgrown the kids menu already.
There's a tasty hidden kick in there which took this dish from nice to fabulous
There's a tempting range of cakes and biscuits to entice you and tempt you and even a gorgeous window opening onto the main street to grab a takeaway coffee from as you head into your day. But if you get the chance and you can stop to sit head on in and let the friendly staff and the welcoming homely feel of Balmains treat you to a beautiful meal in the most beautiful of places.
Be quick! These treats are too good to hang around for long.
I'm not even waiting for a good reason to return I'm just going... now!