If you have been a long time follower of mine, you will know my opinion on the cafes in the northern suburbs. For those who have just joined me – I think the ones worth visiting are few and far between once you get past Scarborough. BUT I have found one to add to the “worth visiting” list – Flinderz at Hillarys Shopping Centre.
Now stay with me here… yes it is at a shopping centre but it’s a small local one so I’m not talking about the scale of Carousel here. So how did I find out about this? Well thanks to the power of Instagram, I was tagged over and over in these beautiful looking dishes that got me salivating for a breakfast that I hoped would taste as good as it looked.
Something I really like about Flinderz is that you can book for breakfast. I understand why cafe’s don’t take bookings but this doesn’t suit my personality type – which is “control freak” by the way. I like to be organised and book rather than worry about whether I am going to be standing on the footpath waiting anxiously for a table to become available. This makes this an ideal place for a group catch up and perfect for Carla, Kristi and her beautiful daughter Kalee and I to have a breakfast date and chin wag.
With so many places insisting on orders being placed at the counter, I had forgotten about the luxury of having your order taken at the table. The best thing about this is having our coffee order taken straight away so we can enjoy a cup whilst waiting for breakfast. They use Pound Coffee here and I love it! We all ordered a second cup but I was devastated to see they were serving cold drip when we went to pay. The weather is perfect for this special coffee treat and it’s a good option to avoid having another milky coffee. Next time Gadget… next time.
The brunch menu is more “breakfast” than “lunch”.. which I whole heartedly approve of. All the usuals make an appearance but with a twist. Eggs benedict is with pulled pork, the granola is with a panna cotta.. you get the picture. If you can’t decide what to have, they offer a breakfast tasting board ($19) – banana panna cotta, quinoa granola, yogurt, fruit compote, smoked salmon & scrambled egg slider, zucchini slice AND a glass of juice. It’s a 3 course meal in one! The top price you’ll pay for brekky here is $21 for their big breakfast – beans, bacon, chorizo, roast tomato, potato hash, field mushrooms and spinach.
Got the kiddies in tow? Well here they are looked after with their own menu. For $7 they have a choice of a ham & cheese toastie, pancakes with ice-cream or eggs on sourdough. Kristi commented that she loved that the toastie she ordered for Kalee came out at a temperature that meant she could get stuck into it straight away. It can be testing to have piping hot food plonked in front of a hungry child who has to wait whilst mum cools it down by waving it in the air and blowing on it like a woman possessed.
Carla was hangry…. so hungry she was angry (did I need to explain that?). She was looking at all the big ticket items but kept coming back to the pulled pork benedict ($18) with a side of mushrooms ($5). Served on a chunky piece of toast was a healthy pile of braised pork shoulder which was a tad bland but the flavour from the garlic spinach gave it a bit of much needed oomph. They had nailed the poached eggs – perfect rounded beauties filled with a runny golden yolk ready to spill through the dish. Spiced hollandaise was buttery and could have used a touch more of a kick but it was a good finish to a different take on this brekky favourite.
Kristi’s breakfast enchilada ($18) didn’t look like much when it came out but it was packing a big tummy filling punch. A tortilla filled with creamy scrambled eggs and rice pilaf was just half the story. It was also topped with a chorizo, tomato ragu and melted mozzarella with a side of fresh guacamole. The enchilada was a little heavy on the rice and light on the seasoning but those creamy scrambled eggs made up for it.
The banoffee pancakes ($17) has been a dish that has copped it’s fair share of instagramming. What would you expect with a dish that is served with fried ice cream? Yep you read that right – FRIED ICE CREAM! This stuff takes me back to my childhood where a fancy dinner out for a birthday meant going to the local chinese restaurant (for me is was the Sun Hing in Armadale) and being allowed to order fried ice cream for dessert; only after we had eaten some beef and black bean and sweet and sour pork. A stack of fluffy vanilla pancakes sat in a sweet pool of salted caramel, vanilla cream, caramelised banana and decorative pansies. The crowning glory was a delicious ball of fried ice cream crumbed in desiccated coconut. I can’t get over how amazing this dish was but it defeated me and I was devastated I couldn’t finish it. Maybe I will try again after I don’t have a baby taking up precious room!
I saw on a blackboard that they serve a dozen oysters with a glass of sparkling for $19 every Thursday night. Freshly shucked oysters is on my post baby food list… along with continental rolls, soft serve ice cream, banh mi and all the soft cheeses. I will be back in a couple of months – have those oysters ready Flinderz!
Flinderz is worth taking the drive north for or stepping away from the busy strip of West Coast Drive. It’s the winning trifecta – perfect for kids, families or a catch up with friends. With an all day brunch menu to boot – take your time and enjoy a trip up the coast for what is a pretty darn good breakfast.110 Flinders Ave, Hillarys
Breakfast served everyday from 7am