Sunday, 13 January 2008

Brunch at Butterfly Cafe

Butterfly Cafe
25 Cookson St, Camberwell (map)
9882 1649

It has been brought to my unhappy attention by P, a reliable source, that in the months since the new owners took over Butterfly Cafe, both the atmosphere and quality of food/coffee have gone drastically downhill, such that this review is no longer a good indication of what you can expect. If anyone cares to report with an update, please let me know!***

Butterfly Cafe

We went out one recent Saturday morning to Camberwell and met A and P for a catch-up brunch at Butterfly Cafe, a pint-sized cafe opposite Camberwell station. A and P are regulars at Butterfly - when they walk in the guy at the coffee machine brings them coffee the way they like it without them having to place an order, and asks them how their kids are doing.

Butterfly Cafe interiorButterfly Cafe serving area

I grew up for a few years in Camberwell, and I never would have thought daggy old Cambers would ever contain such a funky little cafe! It must be something about the proximity of the train station: it's just a stone's throw from one of my very favourite bars in Melbourne, Bar None.

Butterfly Cafe cupcakes

Wish I'd had one of these cupcakes that were in the display cabinet. According to M's Nemesis, the cupcake flowers are made by the owner's son at the former's bequest! I'll have to ask A and P whether they know if there's any truth to this rumour...

Scrambled eggs at Butterfly Cafe
Mushies on toast with feta and thyme

P laconically recommended the scrambled eggs, which he had, but I had my eye on the field mushrooms with feta and thyme on toast. They were bloody brilliant! Such a good idea to add feta and thyme. I liked them so much I recreated my own version of the recipe last week.

Homemade mushies

What d'you think of the homemade version? I know it's just sliced soy and linseed bread, but using some of the tub of Persian Feta I have in the fridge plus fresh lemon thyme from my fledgling herb garden (that's my Vietnamese mint just visible in the corner of the photo), it tasted pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. Of course, I almost always use my secret weapon when frying up mushrooms. And my not-so-secret-any-more weapon is...

Funghi porcini stockcubes

These porcini mushroom stock cubes are the cat's pyjamas! A quarter of a cube (ground-up and added once the mushrooms start to sweat) is a brilliant way to butch up fried mushies and give them that woodsey porcini flavour. They're also great in risotti. Imported from Italy, the Star brand porcini cubes can be tricky to hunt down (not many places stock them) - but they're worth your while, if only for the slightly demonic-looking fifties housewife on the cover!


Agnes said...

Your home made version looks delish! Glad to hear that the herb garden is going well. :) Where did you get your porcini stock cubes from? Love the illustration on the cover!

Cindy said...

Mmmm, I like a good plate of mushrooms on toast at any time of the day, and your version looks great! I have never seen those mushroom stock cubes before and will have to keep an eye out for them. I think I could really get hooked...

Serenity Later said...

Yummo! How good does your version of mushies on toast look??!!! A breakfast stalwart for this non-egg fan, its fair to say that its pretty hard to mess it up (toast, mushies, garlic, herbs and cheese - how could you go wrong???), but i have a good feeling that your secret ingredient lifts this dish to great heights!!! Once again, yummo!

M? said...

Hi mutemonkey, great post! Yeah when we went Magic G had the same reservations about Camberwell turning chic but this place is a standout.
And how good are the mushies on toast? I was also inspired to adopt it into my breakfast/brunch repetoire! :)

claire said...

Hi ladies, thanks for your kind comments! If you're trying to track down the stock cubes you can buy them at Mediterranean Wholesalers in Sydney Rd, Brunswick. Let me know if you use them to great effect in a recipe!

Cindy said...

Woohoo! I'm a Sydney Road regular, so will get onto these...

natasha said...

Given that Camberwell is soon to become my new stomping ground (hello private school kids in wet look leggings and really short shorts), I made it my mission to find this place. My first reaction was to laugh at the Fitzroy-meets-Camberwell aesthetic.

Here is my two cents worth:

The coffee is good. I had originally asked for an iced coffee but was told that they had neither ice nor ice cream. I forgot to ask whether the lack of ice was a permanent thing; if that is the case, it troubles me.

Food ... there was absolutely no food to be seen inside the cafe aside from the tantalising descriptions on the blackboard menu. Am not sure whether the food situation completely and utterly dies come 2pm on a Sunday, which is when we were there, but there most definitely were not any cute cupcakes. Or food displays of any kind, come to think of it, not even one forlorn muffin.

And one final small point: the lovely outdoor tables and chairs in your photo have been replaced by red metal things. Camberwell goes industrial?

So ... I may revisit and try brunch in the future but I do not hold high hopes. If only I were moving to North Melbourne.