Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Brunching East of Brunswick at El Mirage

El Mirage
349 Lygon Street, East Brunswick (map)
9388 0966

El Mirage

One sunny morning on a recent weekend the charming J invited me to join a group of his friends for brunch up in Brunswick East/East Brunswick. The venue of choice was El Mirage, a former factory turned rather lovely cafe with elegantly curved wood panels linking the southern wall to the ceiling.

Our dining companions ordered dishes such as the Slim Jim (poached eggs, ricotta, fig chutney and avocado, $12.50) and the eggs Florentine ($12.50).

Slim JimEggs Florentine

I'm a sucker for lemon curd, so I ordered the pancakes with lemon curd, mascarpone and maple syrup ($12). The pancakes were nicely fluffy, but a huge dollop of curd, a huge dollop of mascarpone AND lashings of maple syrup sprinkled with sugar? Just too much, in my opinion. I ended up scraping off half the curd and most of the mascarpone. Maybe with fewer toppings the dish would be a bit more manageable.

I teased J because of his boring boring brunch choice: poached eggs on toast, no sides ($8). To be fair, he had a heavy cold at the time, so he probably wasn't thinking straight. Anyway, as poached free range eggs on toast go, they looked pretty tasty (and we did our best to make them look vaguely interesting for the blog).

PancakesPoached eggs on toast

After we finished brunch a group of us decided to stroll in the glorious sunshine up north for more coffee.

The Brunswick East Project
438 Lygon Street, Brunswick East (map)
9939 8422

East Brunswick Project

The East Brunswick Project is the home of Padre Coffee (also available at a stall at South Melbourne Market). Blends are roasted on site and the Slayer Synesso machine is manipulated with aplomb. I enjoyed the cafe latte I had, although I was already regretting the fact that I'd had two coffees with brunch. Three coffees kept my heart beating fast for the next few hours.

Flat whiteEast Brunswick Project

Sigh. It seems that fixies are becoming increasingly de rigeur interior decorating items for inner-suburban specialty coffee havens.

Hipster power!

East Brunswick Project

But seriously: enjoyable brunch, enjoyable coffees. :-)


Michael said...

The coffee machine in the photo at the Brunswick East project is a Slayer. I knew they had ordered one, so it must have been delivered.

claire said...

Eeep, thanks for that Michael! My sources were misinformed. Now corrected. :-)

Rob Meredith said...

Too much mascarpone and lemon curd? No! Not enough pancake.

Ashley said...

No! the lemon curd and the mascarpone are the best part of it! Everything looks so heavenly. If I wake up to these breakfast every morning I could die a happy girl =D

Vee said...

I'm a sucker for lemon curd as well - curse you Cumulus Inc madeleines! - poor J...eggs and soliders are an oldie but a goldie!

Food Floozy said...

I can't help but feel drawn to the Slim Jim - what was it like? I love chutney's and feel I must head down there next weekend to check it out!!

Gem said...

El Mirage do a great bircher muesli, for next time :)

Emma said...

I love the look of the Eggs Florentine!

Phyllicia Lafayette said...

Aren't the El Mirage waitresses abit too crass & swearing too much? That's what I've read on other reviews.

claire said...

"El Mirage waitresses abit too crass & swearing too much"??

Er, the waitress who served us was perfectly well behaved.

Food Floozy said...

Who cares is a waitress is crass? And I'm still meaning to get there! :)

padre said...

The 'fixie' - it's not - on the wall at Eastie is a gift from the staff to the owner (and am I ever thankful - it is a sweet ride) the reason it's up there is because the Moreland Council gave us grief about 'staff parking' - we all ride bikes to work and were hogging the bike racks out front - and so had the racks installed out the back to keep them off our back. It beats having our bikes beaten to scrap by the Moreland street sweeper who has no regard for peoples bikes - only a timetable.