Sunday, 2 August 2009

Brunch in Melbourne's whitest suburb

76 Michael Street, Fitzroy North (map)
9077 7379


One of my first outings in Melbourne after I got back from overseas was brunch with nine months pregnant Schatzi and friends at Mitte. Named after the Berlin suburb, Mitte is in hipsterville North Fitzroy (Melbourne's "whitest" suburb, according to Stuff White People Like author Michael Lallo), in a quiet residential street near Edinburgh Gardens. The former corner shop has been fitted out simply and beautifully, with white walls and big windows facing east and west.


For brunch, D ordered the bircher style muesli, made with apple juice, yoghurt and nuts and topped with fruit salad ($11.50). Looked good, especially the vivid fruit.

Bircher style muesli

J had the Croque Monsieur with Dijon mustard, b├ęchamel, gypsy ham and St Claire Swiss cheese ($12.50). I had a taste and it was nicely creamy - like the fact that it was proper Dijon too.

Croque Monsieur

Schatzi ordered the three cheese omelette ($15): Meredith marinated goats fetta, Grana Padano and buffalo mozzarella served with sourdough toast and topped with a salad of green olives, cherry tomatoes, rocket and parmesan. Supercheesy - as Schatz went into labour later that evening, I can't help but wonder whether or not this omelette was partly responsible... :)

Three cheese omelette

At a house party the night before, I'd been discussing North Fitzroy with my charming (and very drunk) friend J. When I'd told him I was planning on going to Mitte for brunch, he'd clapped his hand on my shoulder and slurred that I HAD to try the Mitte chickpea bake (reviewed by Michael here). "Uh huh", I'd mumbled.

But alas I don't care much for chickpeas, so I decided to try something else that caught my eye (sorry J!). I had the free range poached eggs Caesar style ($15) which were served with sourdough toast shmeared with garlic aioli, crispy bacon, cos lettuce, shaved parmesan and anchovies. The aioli and anchovies made it a pretty hardcore dish as far as brunches go, but it was really delicious - just what my hangover needed. Dench's sourdough is the best.

Poached eggs Caesar style

While I'm not sure that I'd go so far as to award it Breakfast of the Year (as the 2009 Cheap Eats Guide did), we were still pretty impressed with Mitte. The vanilla cupcakes looked so good that when we ordered a second round of coffees after our plates were cleared, we decided to also order a cupcake and to split it four ways. Soft and fluffy!

Mitte cupcake


fennb said...

Another excellent review (place sounds great too).

Now I don't want to start a religious bread war, but if you're into good sourdough, I personally believe there is one bread to rule them all:

You can get it at Renaissance supermarkets and one place in the Vic Market but it sells out in minutes.

It's rather good.


Anonymous said...

Fitzroy may be the favourite suburb of young whities but sorry, surely the crown goes to my home suburb and birth place of....... Balwyn!!

White people love Balwyn, my god I was considered a darkie on our street cos I'm half Greek!
The only non-whites in Balwyn are the considerable Chinese population and they only live there so their kids can get into Balwyn High.

Even they know Balwyn's boring and go to Bokkers for any decent food and/or entertainment!

C-MAC said...

Religious bread war! There could be one... it is interesting how many of Melbourne and Victoria's best bakers have had some time at Natural Tucker and despite changes of ownership they still do a good loaf.

All of the following do some pretty good things... I'd hate to have to pick a favourite...

Pure Bread
Natural Tucker
La Madre
Baker di Chiroco
Il Fornaio

As for Mitte, I've always found it disappointing. I had the croque monsieur, and my problem was that it wasn't a croque monsieur. It wasn't a sandwich, it wasn't pan fried in butter and it was dry with the bread overly hard. Putting bechamel with cheese and ham on toast does not a croque monsieur make (in my view). Mitte's version is also expensive, given that it doesn't need pans and much assembly, just a quick shove under the salamander. For a real croque (madame or monsieur), from brekky through to 3am, The European is unbeatable. I've found Mitte's other food to be relatively expensive and to often lack robustness of flavour and careful seasoning. Mixed Business round the corner seem to do a much better job with food, as do Dench's shopfront, on the same street, albeit a kilometer away.

Just my two cents...

C-MAC said...

Maybe I'll head back in and try the chickpea bake... if you're sure.

esther said...

hahahahahhaha. North Fitzroy is totally the home of the type of hipster white people that Lallo is talking about.

I had my best brunch in recent memory at Mitte. I was really impressed by how the brekkies all come with heaps of different bits, condiments and such.

The chickpea bake was great but the pancakes with lemon curd, labne and maple syrup were a total winner! I think they said they were pikelets but they were huge, perfectly fluffy, golden and melty.

Eating Melbourne said...

Sounds like you had a better experience than me! I've been there twice; first time, the food was average, second time they took so long to even take our coffee orders that we gave up and left. :(

Mixed Business is just around the corner and ALWAYS fabulous.

claire said...

Ah Fennb, I'm with you on Irrewarra sourdough. My mum buys it at the Renaissance in Hawthorn. Top-notch.

Hi Anonymous. Calling North Fitzroy Melbourne's whitest suburb in my post was a reference to the site Stuff White People Like (poking fun at trendy hipsters who like Vespa scooters, girls with bangs, Mad Men, Moleskine notebooks, hating corporations, vintage, breakfast places, organic food, yoga, coffee etc).
But I agree with you about Boring Balwyn! :)

Hi C-MAC, thanks for your two cents (well more like twenty cents!). :)
I haven't tried all of those brands of bread, but like Irrewarra, Baker di Chirico and Il Fornaio well enough...

Glad to hear you liked Mitte, Esther! I just *adore* lemon curd, will look out for it next time.

Hi Eating Melbourne, what a shame, that sucks. I don't blame you for leaving in those circs.
Given both you and C-MAC have recommended it, will have to try Mixed Business next time I'm in the 'hood. Thanks for the tip, you guys :)

Melbourne Dancer said...

I agree with you C-MAC regarding Mitte's food. Nice but not great! Mixed Business do a much better job but my pick for the 'hood is Cavallini. Great bread and the best lemon tarts in town. To top it off, they now have single origin coffee but be prepared to wait, there are queues for their coffee on weekends.