It's embarrassing to admit that I have lived near Subi for over a decade yet had always thought Stimulatte was just a coffee shop. It seemed too tiny to be anything more, and even though I was aware of its awesome reputation and constant placing in the Top Ten lists, I had never visited.
Stimulatte is indeed a coffee shop but it is so much more, and is open for breakfast and lunch every day except Sundays (although it is a single all-day menu). My eldest daughter and I went for breakfast on an overcast Saturday morning, so early the only people out were the dog walkers and older couples. If you want a table at this hole in the wall, you probably should be up with the birds, as there are only about three tables inside, plus a row of stools along the window, with another half a dozen or so out the front.
Situated on Hay Street, Stimulatte is not an ideal destination for younger kids with a tendency to run, but older kids are fine and babies are catered for with a high chair.
You can watch the world go by at the outdoor dining under the umbrellas
The menu, though constantly changing, is full of eye-popping combinations and for people who love dinner-at-breakfast, you will be happy indeed.
You will find lots of hip and very now ingredients from the paleo banana bread to chia, flax and kale and edible flowers but it's not pretentious as it might sound. Serving sizes are generous and prices are reasonable. And you have to admit the dishes ae absolutely beautiful.
Despite misgiving that it might be too early in the day for pig, I chose the pulled pork benedict ($18) with pulled pork, two poached eggs, house-made bernaise, fresh apple served on slices from Bread in Common. Not only did it present beautifully, but it was a tasty and filling dish, with the moist pork countered by the crisp tart apple and balsamic glaze. The eggs were perfectly poached and I have now decided it's never too early for pig.
My daughter chose the ricotta hotcake ($17.50) an enormous dinner plate sized hotcake, soft and fluffy with pure cream, fresh berries, a jar of maple syrup and an oat crumble. It was delicious and so large that even with my help she couldn't finish it.
The staff were kind enough to make a plain banana smoothie for my daughter
Other dishes on the menu include smashed avocado with poached eggs, asparagus and bernaise ($18), house-made granola with fresh berries and maple syrup ($15), the Copenhagen which is smoked trout, poached eggs, kale and house-made dukkah ($17) or the green brekkie with spiced chickpeas, courgette, kale and poached eggs ($17).
Many of the dishes are already dairy or gluten free, and others can be changed on request, making it is a very adaptable and inclusive place. There are enough different options that every taste, appetite and dietary requirement will be catered for, but you can also just stop by for a super smoothie, fresh juice or – obviously – a coffee.
There is a tempting range of cakes and pastries by the counter that would make for a lovely morning or afternoon tea – or, like us you might just choose to bring something home.
One of three types of locally made lamingtons $6.50