Most of the places on San Remo's Marine Parade just blend in with the surroundings. One place, Porter Republic, looks like it's been transported directly from Melbourne. Their funky décor and great approach to food give them a quality that's completely new.
It's a draw when it comes to the first thing you notice about Porter Republic. The general surroundings have a certain what-I-found-in-the-shed feel that sets the tone for a relaxed meal. The staff achieve the challenging task of being both attentive and laid-back, greeting newcomers even when it's busy, finding just the right table and supplying everything needed, then ambling off to find you food. It gives the place a nice, friendly feeling, almost as if you've dropped in to a mate's place who happens to charge you for your coffee.
The food is where the café really stands out. It's the usual café fare with a bit of creativity added. My pancakes, for example, came with a berry compote and a banana-walnut concoction that had been caramelised in honey. It was delicious, and not overwhelmingly sweet, as many breakfast pancakes are. Other items on the menu are a similar mix of the simple and the creative, with granola being served as a trifle and bacon and eggs in any way you can imagine.
Egg and bacon roll - perfect for a weekend morning.
We sat out the back in the sun, surrounded by herb beds, lemon trees and antique, well-used toys. The grass at our feet was a nice contrast to the usual tiles or concrete. Again, I was reminded of dropping by a mate's place. It was the ideal way to spend a leisurely breakfast.