After visiting Amuse last night for a degustation with matching wines (it was amazing by the way), I thought there was no way I could fit in a breakfast but all that wine (we drank three bottles between 4 of us before we got there) meant my sister and I needed good coffee and bacon when we woke up this morning. I also felt like I would be cheating on breakfast if I didn’t go out on “International Bacon Day”!
We decided to go to Brother Cafe in Menora as it was nice and close to home. It is a very unassuming cafe sitting at the end of a small row of shops along Walcott Street. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d drive past and never take any notice. Hopefully this review can change that! Walking inside we saw it was actually full! There is plenty of seating including a couch and also some bar seating as well as a few tables outside. I read a couple of Urbanspoon reviews and people commented on the outside seating overlooking the carpark – which it does… but how is that any different from sitting outside at any other cafe on Beaufort st for example? I don’t think it’s a negative at all.
The menu was just what I like to see – a few different choices amongst the old faithfuls. It means there is something for everyone! The prices go up to $20 for eggs with your choice of 3 sides (bacon, salmon, roasted tomato, spinach, chorizo, mushrooms, feta or chorizo). I quite liked this concept for a “big breakfast”. I saw that they have a Freo Sardines dish ($14). I love sardines on toast but you rarely see it on breakfast menus. I think the whole “sardines being restaurant food” is something people are still getting used to. It is brave to have that on the menu. I decided to have the omelette with Meredith goats feta, pinenuts and spinach ($15) and Sarah chose the baked eggs ($17) – tomato and chilli beans, vintage cheddar, eggs, salted turkish bread, with a side of bacon ($4). Sarah had it without the bread as she needs gluten free. After I ordered I saw they had french toast with bacon and maple syrup ($15). I had scanned over the french toast and didn’t read it properly and I wish I had! I saw someone else with it and they used brioche! YUM!
Of course we both ordered a coffee and I ordered a banana smoothie ($7). The smoothie was THE BEST! It was icey cold and packed full of real banana and honey. It was just what I needed. Brother Cafe uses Toby Estate coffee and I find this coffee to be quite strong in flavour. There was no bitterness at all. People get confused between “strong” and “bitter” sometimes. Coffee can be strong and still be a great coffee. Just like ours was – perfect temperature and creamy until the last sip.
My omelette huge! The goats cheese was just as it should be – strong and pungent. You could taste the pine nuts through out the omelette but I found there wasn’t much spinach. It was made like a pizza – the egg was the base then the topping was cooked on top. This meant that around the edges there was only egg and none of that tasty feta goodness. My preference would have been to have it like a traditional omelette with all the filling spread through the middle and then folded over. Despite this minor complaint, I still enjoyed this light and fluffy omelette and the abundance of one of my favourite cheeses.
Sarah’s meal was so, so, SO tasty. The tomato and chilli beans were so flavoursome – you had to keep licking your lips afterwards in that “mmm this is so good” kinda way. I used some of my toast to mop up the sauce afterwards and she snuck a bit too (even though she can’t have gluten!). The egg was soft and gooey and there was just enough chilli to give it a bit of punch.
The service was fast but a little impersonal. Sarah commented that no one really said hello to us when we came in and were standing there wondering if we just sit down or wait to be seated. After looking around for a bit, we took a menu and sat down. I think it would have been nice to be greeted and even just told “hey grab a menu and take a seat”. I’m not sure if this was just because they were a little busy and preoccupied with a big table. I don’t think this should define them though because the food and coffee alone is really worth going for! So if you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track that is Beaufort st – definitely try Brother Cafe.300 Walcott St, Menora Breakfast served from 7am Mon-Fri & from 8am on Saturday