Friends of Mine
506 Swan St, Richmond 3121
(03) 9428 7516

Over the weekend, Bonnie and I visited Friends of Mine, the latest venture for the owners of Porgie and Mr Jones (Hawthorn) and Snow Pony (Balwyn). I’ve long been a fan of Porgie and Mr Jones (or Porgie’s as it’s known), and so I thought it was about time I shared the love affair.

We arrived at 11am Saturday morning and were greeted with the associated peak hour rush of brunch-goers. We added our name to the list and waited patiently outside. The staff in charge checked on us regularly, which made the wait more bareable knowing we hadn’t been forgotten about.

After about 15 minutes we were shown to a table inside what feels like a old, victorian-era house. Comfy couches, mis-matched chairs and chandeliers give the place a very cosy feel. The low ceilings, however, mean that during peak hour it can get a bit noisy and poor Bonnie was struggling a little to keep up with the convasation.

After reading the menu (the back of which reads “You are beautiful” and as K remarked, made for a nice start to the day!), I decided on the Tom Cooper’s smoked salmon, corn pikelet, avocado, herbed crème fraiche and poached egg ($19.90). Delicious. I love salmon for breakfast and actually saw it go past to the next table which cemented my decision. The salty salmon balanced the creamy, perfectly poached egg and for a salt lover like me needed no extra seasoning. A thick slather of smashed avocado and a little dallop of crème fraiche added some much needed smoothness to the dish, while a light salad gave some needed crunch. My only complaint? The pikelet was perhaps a little stodgey, and could have done with some more corn kernels through it.

Miss R and her sweet tooth opted for the Toasted banana bread with maple syrup mascarpone, fresh banana, berry compote and crushed pistachio ($14.90). I had a try after she failed to finish it: very nice but very rich.

Miss F, a traditionalist went for the Mr Jones’ golden ‘folded’ eggs with fresh herbs and Holy Goat cheese on wholegrain toast ($12.90). Perfectly gooey scrambles made even more delicious with the additional of the goat’s cheese. No wonder it’s a Porgie/Snow Pony/FoM classic!

Poor Miss K, limited by her yeast allergy opted for the Bircher muesli with rhubarb and vanilla compote with cleo’s honeyed yoghurt ($10.90). When asked how it rated on her scale of bircher muselis, she replied “not in the top 10” (her favourite being a tie between Proud Mary and another place I can’t recall). Apparently it was just another bircher museli, but not a bad effort. Props for the presentation!

Finally, Miss Bonnie herself chose the Croissant with ham off the bone, béchamel, emmental cheese and truss tomato ($7.50). I was shocked she did this, as we had both been discussing on our trip to Thailand how we feel too guilty to ever order a Croissant (it’s a private girl school thing). It was a good one though – worth the calories.

Surprisingly none of us ordered coffee! We all opted for juice, which arrived in cute amber bottles. I have heard good things about the coffee though, and it’s usually pretty good at Porgie’s.

We all left very happy with our meal. I thought the menu was probably the best of the 3 cafes, and Friends of Mine is definitely the biggest. Visit half an hour before you are ready to eat.

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