I love menus that cause me to go into a severe state of indecision, although waiters probably don’t feel the same, banished away constantly with my pleas of “just a few more minutes!” This was the challenge that faced Aimee and I as we poured over the pages of Ernest V’s menu on a very hot Sunday morning.
Ernest V appears like an oasis on the hazy Glenhuntly Road strip in Elsternwick. It’s a cool, relaxing cavern that provided instant relief from the oppressive heat outside, although there is a courtyard out the back if you’re a sun lover. It’s a space that’s clearly inspired by Middle Eastern aesthetics and design, with entire walls covered in beautiful Egyptian tiles, and this Middle Eastern influence permeates the menu as well.
I was so very close to ordering the ful, an Egyptian breakfast dish consisting of fava beans, vegies and hummus, because where else are you going to come across it? But after ages of humming and hahing I ended up being seduced over to the dukkah-encrusted eggs with salad (rocket, radishes, cherry tomatoes, yellow pickled vegetables that may possibly have begun life as capsicums) on a slice of thin, crusty and seedy bread.
The egg yolks were a beautiful rich orange, they would of had to have been free-range eggs, there’s no other way you can get that strength of colour. Perfectly gooey inside. The salad was lovely and crisp – there should be more radishes in things, bring on the radish renaissance! – although I found the pickles to be quite bitter and unpleasant and left most of them untouched (probably not entirely the pickles’ fault, I’m a little funny with pickled foods and am rarely into them). The bread was thinly cut, but still proved a sturdy base for the eggs, and was packed full of seeds, which is the only way to make crusty bread even more delicious! And just how good is dukkah? SO GOOD. Nutty, spicy, crunchy goodness. There were no regrets in this choice all up, it was the most satisfying brekkie I’ve had out in quite a while.
As for beverage, I fell back on my standard choice of earl grey tea, provided at Ernest V from Larsen & Thompson. These guys have started to turn up on tea menus all over town lately, and I hope it continues, they grow and mix good tea! The earl grey has a good solid body to it, and didn’t have any weird aftertastes that a lot of earl greys have a tendency towards. A very satisfying cup, so much that I ordered two pots of it.
Aimee ended up ordering off of the pizza page of the menu and went with the pumpkin and feta pizza. It was “the bomb”, and she was particularly pleased by the taste and texture of the base which was undoubtedly made from scratch.
The staff were unfailing friendly and sweet during our visit (it helps that our waiter had a completely charming smile to boot), and the enduring vibe overall was one of laid back pleasantness. Ernest V is pretty special and I am achingly jealous of Aimee being an Elsternwick local. Having such a place in your backyard is a very fortunate thing indeed.
432 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick
Ph: 9523 4322