I could easily imagine that if I had chosen to sit elsewhere my experience at RMB would have been quite different. There are two choices for dining at this laneway bar and café: you can sit en masse under the umbrellas that line Degraves Street, a quintessential Melbourne experience perhaps, or you can do what I did, and choose to sit inside. It was a bit cold, you see, for a Perth girl.
Inside it is not beautiful whatsoever. The kitchen is open and the noise is a mix of banging pots and a United Nations of beautiful accents. But the space feels unfinished, as though they stopped part way through a renovation. This is not helped by the scaffolding outside the window. It is neither glamorous nor even nice inside. The table was wobbly and my water shook precariously every time I cut my breakfast, but it was clean and the staff were friendly.
Outside, people more prepared for the morning chill were chatting happily and having quite a different experience. But at least I was warm.
The breakfast menu is quite extensive with some interesting choices. Later I discovered there was a specials menu as well, which added even more options to debate over. Like the staff, the menu presents a veritable world trip in flavours: Spanish omelette ($18) offers chorizo, red onion, chats and sun-dried tomato. Canadian pancakes ($16), one of my favourites is two stacked pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs and maple syrup. Northern eggs ($18) are baked beans, eggs and chorizo baked in sugo and topped with sour cream. Then to France with eggs Benedict ($16) and French toast ($16) and northern Africa with Moroccan eggs ($19).
The menu keeps on going and you can find everything from fluffy vanilla pancakes ($15) to a monster sandwich with bacon, eggs, hash brown, cheese, tomato, red onion and burger sauce all for $12.
Looking at the plates leaving the kitchen and being taken outside, the serving sizes looked generous, and judging by the smiles on the faces of the blokes outside, they were very happy by what they saw.
I elected to have the Spicy Eggs Atlantic ($19) two poached eggs, spicy smashed avocado and goats cheese, smoked salmon on toast. On initial inspection, the serve of my breakfast didn't look as large as the heaped plates of scrambled eggs I had seen earlier, but I was quickly proven wrong. It was a very filling dish and very enjoyable.
Another name for 'spicy smashed avocado' is guacamole, and while it was tasty, I'd hardly call it spicy. I can't recall any of the promised goats cheese, but the smoked salmon was piled high, and the eggs large and the pile of rocket on top was fresh and peppery. It was a great dish and very filling.
The coffee was a tad bitter for my tastes but it arrived quickly and had a lovely thick crema.
... or you can dine under the umbrellas in Degraves Street
Space is obviously at a premium at laneway restaurants, and tables are often pushed very close together to get maximum patronage. It makes it a bit sizest and ungainly as you have to push past other diners, but at least it keeps you warm.
RMB is located on the corner of Flinders Lane and Degraves Street is one minutes walk from Flinders Street Station, a convenient location for an early morning breakfast.