Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Porridge is a great comfort food. When I was a kid growing up in notoriously icy Ballarat my mother would serve it up with a knob of butter, and a dollop of golden syrup. It was a sweet dream to wake up to with the rivulets of gold and yellow melting down the volcano mound of hot creamy oats.
These days cafes are adding all kinds of goodies to make porridge even more of a superfood. Additions like cacao nibs, quinoa and chai seeds, fruit compotes, nuts, seeds and yoghurt.
Then there are the decorations The surface of a plate of porridge has become a palette bringing out the artistry in our chefs.
I think probably my winning entry to date would have to be the bowl of porridge shown above from Collective Espresso in Cookson Street near Camberwell Station.
Their porridge is made from chai seeds, coconut and oats and decorated with strawberries, blueberries, and passionfruit. Then plonked artfully in the centre is a whole pear that has been poached in cranberry and orange juice to make it a startling red colour.
Visually the few strands of greenery, noted in the photo above, work well set against this vivid red.
While admittedly all the way down on Phillip Island (at the Big Wave Cafe) I also had an amazing porridge which was topped with fresh chopped mint.
The base was black rice and quinoa rather than oats and then served with coconut, rhubarb (aways a winner), passionfruit, bananas and a side dish of palm sugar syrup. This number was also vegan as no dairy was involved. The mint just set off all these various tastes with a clean sharp freshness.
While at the Barry in Northcote their 5 grain cacao porridge, with coconut labne, strawberries, gojis and pistachios is supposed to taste like a guilt free chocolate Bounty bar. Gotta get there. Can't wait.
But really now it is over to you so we can build up a bit of list in the comments section. Where have you found to-die-for-porridge and what were the ingredients or decorations that made it so memorable? Would love to follow up on some of your suggestions. And I am sure plenty of other readers would as well.
This is winter fare of course (I expect, Nadine, you are soon to discuss muesli!) but Eclipse in Flinders Lane makes a delicious slightly salty, slightly sweet variation with fresh strawberries and a strawberry conserve topping - vegan variation available:https://www.zomato.com/melbourne/eclipse-cbd The Old Barber Shop (Church near Bridge in Richmond) will also provide a vegan option decorated with fresh fruithttp://oldbarbershop.com.au/ while Cafe Azul on Bridge has a couple of variations on the theme:https://www.zomato.com/melbourne/cafe-azul-richmond I believe the vegan flexibility is a sign of fresh ingredients - the kitchen has to prepare from scratch.