Gramercy

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?

CHALLAH.

FRENCH.

TOAST.

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).

Gramercy

162-164 Commercial Road, Prahran

Ph: 9098 1155

www.gramercybistro.com.au

Percy’s Aeroplane

We call it The Green Egg Thing.

On the Percy’s Aeroplane menu it’s more properly designated as the¬†thyme-infused mushrooms with smashed avocado, lime dressing, dukkah and a poached egg, on nice seedy bread. But The Green Egg Thing has achieved near-mythical proportions with Amelia and I. It’s the only dish that I have ever ordered at Percy’s, and it will probably continue being the only thing I eat there for a long while. It is just that damn GOOD.

Percy’s is smack-bang in the middle of Amelia’s hood and we’d been wanting to check it out for ages, but the fact it was only open on weekdays and not after 3pm always put a scupper to our late-lunching plans. However, a few months ago they started trading on Saturdays and that has made all the difference.

Percy’s is a nicely outfitted cafe, and deceptively bigger than it appears from the outside. If you head out from the front room under the auspices of the bright yellow coffee machine, you’ll find some more well-lit rooms to hide in, and a courtyard that perfect for when the sun is out.

But back to what we’re actually all here for, The Green Egg Thing. Holy Hannah, this thing is amazing. It comes out to you as a giant pile of green (hence the name), the bright lime dressing also smothering the dukkah in green, the poached eggs surfacing as little white wobbly islands rising above the avocado sea, making the bread the seabed… okay, my metaphor has officially run away from me, but you get the drift. It’s looks gorgey as well as being super tasty.

The poached eggs have alway been nicely dribbly, the dukkah all nutty-ish goodness that is complimented so well by the tangy lime dressing, good slightly-tart avocado that has had a decent drizzling of lemon… I honestly could go on and on, I’m that damn obsessed with it.

My fellow diners have sampled other Percy’s dishes, such as the Pilot’s Breakfast, which comprises of bacon, chorizo and fried eggs, an agreeably hearty dish which Amelia enjoyed on our first visit. The BLT and steak sandwiches Aimee and Amelia sampled on a subsequent visit both each looked like they’d be pretty damn tasty too. I’ve also had a mocha or two here, the flavours at play are nice and strong, but I’ve noticed that both times the milk froth has a tendency to be a bit bobbly (technical term).

Percy’s Aeroplane is well worth your time should you ever be floating around the Kew area, and I would be so bold to say that The Green Egg Thing alone is worth making a special trip for. Please do come back and tell me if you have similar transcendental experience with it, we could make a club. With badges!

Percy’s Aeroplane

96 Denmark Street, Kew

Ph: 9939 7642