This is a public service announcement. I am here to tell you the three greatest words you are ever likely to hear, should you have the right priorities, and I think you do. Are you ready?
Got your attention? Good. Let us begin.
Gramercy is the new bistro/restaurant at the Cullen Hotel in Prahran, right next to Hu Tong, which is knowledge that should set you all a tingle. Now normally I would be slightly suspect of any restaurants attached to a hotel, but the Art Series of hotels seems to be making a fair fist of ensuring that their restaurants are keeping up with the foodie times and plating up some interesting and good food.
Gramercy models itself as an upmarket American diner experience, and the food reflects this, with the menu featuring a lot of bagels, pastrami, hero sandwiches and fancy wagyu cheeseburgers. But let’s get back to the important part: CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST.
Challah is that delightful Jewish bread that is chock full of eggs and has a sweetness to it as a result. I love to toast it and pile on with the butter (because I clearly don’t believe in cholesterol), but it’s also great with smears of avocado, or drizzlings of honey, or pretty much any topping or spread you can think of. So the thought that someone had been clever enough to soak it in egg, fry it, and then serve it with maple syrup filled me with GLEE.
Not only do you get a generous jug of maple syrup that properly drenches the toast, it’s also served with cinnamon-dusted bananas. The toast is properly egg battered too, so what with all the eggs in challah anyway its enough to turn you INTO an egg.
Young Doctor Ethnic also accompanied me on this challah-hunting trip, and got himself a reuben sandwich. Containing house-made pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and mustard on rye bread with an accompanying dill pickle, this was a monster sandwich that ticked all of the Doctor’s food buttons.
The service is young and friendly and mostly on point, although during my unexpected 40 minute wait for the Doctor (he got caught up in one of the sudden deluges that seem to have made a habit of sneaking up on Melbourne and vomiting rain and hail everywhere) I was offered a glass of water that then didn’t get refilled in that time, nor as the time crept ever on was I asked if I wanted to order in leu of my friend arriving. Wait staff everywhere, if a patron tells you they want to wait for the rest of their party before ordering, but then waits by themselves for over half an hour, please check in with them again. They are probably hungry enough by this point to be okay with being impolite and starting without their friends!
The space is all shiny surfaces that just avoids being a bit too slick for its own good, and is quite a nice place to while away your time in. Doctor Ethnic and I were certainly keen enough on our food picks to already be planning a follow up visit. Lord knows I need little excuse to fill myself up with bagels (always with the bread products).
162-164 Commercial Road, Prahran
Ph: 9098 1155