Pillar of Salt
541 Church St,
(03) 9421 1550
A little while ago, I wrote about my attempt to visit Pillar of Salt, instead ending up at Pearl Cafe as Bf-B and I wern’t willing to wait in the huge queue. Well! Last weekend when my friend Miss T suggested we go to breakfast, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give POS (Pillar of Salt incase you didn’t get that) another chance.
And I am sooo glad I did! If you hadn’t noticed, I’m becoming a bit of a brunch nerd lately, with visits to Axil, Pearl Cafe, The Collective and so on. I think brunch is very Melbourne, which is probably why it is so hard to get a table at POS, as to me it is among the best places to visit when it comes to brunch. Even though we had to wait 30 minutes for a table, and another 30 for food once we’d ordered, I would definitely say it was well worth the wait. Bf-B may have even agreed.
The place is named after a biblical story in which a woman was turned to stone when she turned around and saw her home town burning (apparently the moral is never look back). Fittingly, a white tiled pillar is found at the center of the cafe, scrawled with whatever coffee is available at the time. And let me say the coffee (Five Senses) is amazing.
After my visit, My friend Mr D and I discussed whether the new Axil Coffee Roasters cafe in Hawthorn or POS do better coffee, and I think (currently) POS have the edge. Axil may just need to get settled first, but the coffee at POS flawless. My latte was creamy, smooth and without a single bubble, as are all the coffees of my fellow diners. Miss S ordered a single origin latte, and so we began debating whether it was worth the extra 50c.
For me, an average coffee drinker and by no means an expert, I don’t taste much of a difference, however it is the opinion of the group (more experienced than me) that the single origin is marginally better. Miss T also ordered a hot chocolate, and insisted I take a photo as she tells me it was worth a mention. Garnished with a dollop of real, melted chocolate, it is nice to see POS get this simple detail right.
As I mentioned before, we did have to wait around 30 minutes after we’d sat down for our food to arrive. But as I wasn’t overly hungry when I arrived, I didn’t mind waiting while I sipped my latte and chatted with my friends. I’d read the menu online, so I already knew what I was going to order before I got there: the soft taco, with persian feta guacamole, black turtle beans, fried egg, and a drizzle of green tabasco ($15.00). Miss S ordered the same, saying she missed the “proper” Mexican food she had while living in the US.
I was excited when it arrived, as it just looked so light and fresh, however, I was then faced with the task of trying to eat it. Unable to fold my burrito the traditional way, I opted to just fold it in half and accept that some would fall out. Sure, it was a bit messy, but the combination of flavours was spot on: the creamy guocamole, the bite of the beans, and the gooey egg all combined to make a delicious dish.
Bf-B chose the corn fritters, served with smoked salmon, coriander, avocado salsa and a poached egg ($18.00). I’ve decided I have to stop ordering fritters for breakfast so left this one to him, but I’m told they were delicious. I noticed there were tomatoes served with the fritters, which I thought was a little odd as they were not mentioned in the menu, but this didn’t seem to bother Bf-B. I had a taste, and loved the texture of the whole corn kernals bursting with sweetness.
Miss T ordered the house baked banana bread with mixed berry marscarpone and peanut praline ($14.00). It looked so pretty on the plate, however, she thought it was perhaps a little sweet and focused too heavily on the raspberries rather than the banana bread.
Finally, Mr M ordered the red chilli scrambled eggs with julienne bacon, spring onion, parsley and parmesan on toast ($16.00). While not the prettiest dish, Mr M enjoyed it thoroughly.
I was really happy with the range of breakfast options POS offered. They also have a really good selection of lunch dishes, such as: farro and pulled lamb shoulder salad, with braised mediterranean vegetables, fresh ricotta, mint, pomegranate, pistachios and extra virgin olive oil ($16.00); coconut poached chicken salad, shredded vegetables, vermicelli noodles, asian herbs and nahm jim dressing ($15.00); or moroccan braised eggplant, served with pistachio and sultana cous cous ($16.00). I will definitely be back to try these!
Definitely worth a visit, and don’t be put off by the line – just don’t arrive too hungry…