Cru

Kew has all of a sudden in the past year or so become quite a burgeoning brunching spot. I’ve already covered both Percy’s Aeroplane and Lil Boy Blue, and still have my eye on visiting Ora, which was the first establishment to put Kew back on the Melbourne food map. But I had been especially eager to experience Cru, which seemed to be attracting nearly universal praise. So with the regular lunching crew of Kim, Pat and Bennett in tow, I showed up on a Sunday morning prepared to be impressed.

For those who love their cafe design, Cru is ever so pretty. White walls, bench seats, floral arrangements, cosy open kitchen that ends up winding out into an expansive outdoor courtyard. We started off in the courtyard but it was a bit chilly, so the staff were very kind and kept an eye out for an indoor table for us to move to.

I had been hankering for a pot of tea, but had been easily confused by the waiter’s greeting of “Would anyone like a coffee?” (What, it was 11am, I don’t deal well at such an early hour!) I ended up ordering a mocha, then was immediately confused about the fact that I had ordered it. I shouldn’t have been, though, because Cru’s mocha was possibly THE BEST MOCHA IN THE WORLD. Yes yes, you’re thinking this is an attack of standard Hayley hyperbole, but I kid you not, it was LOVELY, all creamy and smooth and with only the barest trace of bitterness underneath the silky bean flavours, and turned out to be exactly what I needed. I would be willing to return to Cru for the coffee alone, and you all should realise what an unusual statement that is for me to make!

Onto more substantial vittles, I ordered the pea and mint fritters with goats cheese, sauteed zucchini, and a cheeky poached egg on top (I am increasing becoming convinced that every dish can be improved with the inclusion of a poached egg). Same for Kim! She felt that there was possibly a touch too much goats cheese, which made the whole dish slightly in danger of being too rich. I can see where she was coming from, although my dish cleared in at being just under too cheesy. The fritters themselves were crispy little balls of awesome (I very much like the ball format of fritters rather than the more standard patty, purely for the higher ratio of crispiness), the zucchini fresh and tasty – the zucchini this season seems to be a very flavoursome crop, I’ve even noticed it in my homegrown examples – and I especially appreciated the dish being served in a very handsome green earthenware bowl, as I could make a delicious mess with the egg very happily.

Bennett had the potato rosti with salmon and a mountain of greenery, which was a terribly attractive-looking brunch plate. Pat had a standard eggs and bacon on bread Sunday brunch double-hitter, and it looked very hearty indeed, perfect for anyone looking for some soothing hangover food.

We were all very well pleased with our time spent at Cru. The food was filling, fresh and fabulous, the space welcoming and comfortable, and I’ve already made plans for further Cru brunches with friends in the near future. Well well, Kew, who would have thought that you were going to be home to the next brunching wave?

Cru

916 Glenferrie Road, Kew

Ph: 9818 4366

www.crukew.com.au/

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Lil Boy Blue

It was through some noodling around the internet that I discovered that new Kew cafe Lil Boy Blue had crumbed poached eggs on it’s menu. I stared at the words for quite a while totally beguiled. Crumbed. Poached. Eggs. It was like some foodie angel from on high had appeared to me through my computer screen and anointed me with the most holy of knowledge.

Of course, little did I know that it would actually take Bennett and I (who, as a fellow egg connoisseur, was immediately informed of my discovery) THREE visits to Lil Boy Blue before this foodie grail reached our tastebuds. Sure, this was mainly because we’re a pair of slack hoydens* who are barely aware that morning is a time that actually exists, but I am going to place the blame squarely in the lap of Lil Boy Blue, because why would you have a dish as potentially orgasmic as crumbed poached eggs and then only have it available prior to midday, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HURT US SO MUCH, WHY LIL BOY BLUE, WHY?

Ahem.

1st visit: Arrived around 3pm, most aggrieved to discover that breakfast finishes at midday. Goddamn. Instead settled for one of the two vegetarian options on the lunch menu: crumbed mushrooms with sweet balsamic reduction to dip in. These were totally little fried vegie nuggets of YUM, the medium sized fat mushroom tops encased in a crispy crunch crumb, and the black slick of the balsamic reduction may have looked like a black hole in a ramekin, but is was so sweet-tartly delicious and so complemented the mushies, it was a very well thought out and put together dish.

Bennett had the chilli prawn tacos, that came out all wrapped up in personalised paper so that they certainly looked a treat, and they disappeared quickly as well, which is always a good sign!

2nd visit: Was aiming for an 11.30 arrival, but my habitual lateness foiled me again as I sloped in just after midday. Curses! Had to instead satisfy myself with the second of the two vegetarian lunch dishes, the spring vegetable plate: marinated artichokes, grilled asparagus spears, broad beans, goats cheese and crumbed rounds of polenta drizzled with honey truffle dressing and crispy shallots.

The polenta rounds sated my longing for crumbed things, they had a delightfully tasty crumb coating and were smooth and flavourful inside, something often lacking in polenta dishes. I loved the grilled asparagus spears too, must have caught them at the peak of the season, they were so fresh. My continuing love/hate relationship with marinated artichokes, however, swung over to the hate side. I honestly don’t know why I keep ordering things with marinated artichokes in them, for every time I go “hey, these aren’t bad!” there’s another five times where I’m “oh god, why did I do this.” *makes pile of smelly artichiokes on plate* So that was in no way Lil Boy Blue’s fault, just me being an idiot and not listening when my tongue doesn’t like something. If you like artichokes this dish will probably totally be your complete jam! Although my one proper quibble is that $25 is a pretty hefty pricetag, and one that I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay gain, delicious polenta and asparagus aside.

3rd visit: Finally, the Holy Grail of crumbed poached eggs was achieved! Bennett, Sophie and I scrambled in at 11am on a Friday morning feeling terribly pleased at ourselves, and promptly all three of us ordered the eggs. The plate comprised of two poached eggs incased in crunchy, light crumbs and a little sprinkling of salt flakes, surrounded by a sea of sauteed mixed mushrooms, salsa verde, goats cheese and many thin, crusty slices of olive-oil drizzled bread to pile everything on top of (I omitted the picked capsicums, and Bennett added bacon to his).

Apart from perhaps wanting a touch more goats cheese, and the fact that the mushrooms were a touch too oily, this pretty well matched the heights I was hoping for. The egg yolks were a brilliant orange and oozed suggestively over everything, while the mushrooms definitely benefitted the dish by being a mixed batch of lovely mushie flavours, and the salsa verde! Mmmmm, salsa verde. I had a brainwave during the meal that someone should totally get on with inventing salsa verde baked beans. If you are that person I am totally prepared to sit here and wait.

The crumbed poached eggs were well worth the wait, and I would totally recommend you go on down to Lil Boy Blue to devour them. Taking all the experiences into account, I’m definitely of the opinion that LBB is a much better breakfast option than a lunch or dinner one, particular if you’re vegie since the options in that arena are very limited. But there’s plenty more sweet and savoury options on the brekkie menu to explore if you can drag yourself away from the crumbed eggs. If only they served breakfast all day…

Lil Boy Blue

309 High Street, Kew

Ph: 9853 5003

www.lilboyblue.com.au

*Dudes can totally be hoydens, yeah? I might just like the word hoydens too much. HOYDENS.

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