599 Church St, Richmond, 3121
(03) 9427 1307
Over the weekend, bf-B and I went in search of brunch. It was prime time brunching hour (somewhere between 10-11am) on a Saturday, and having decided we could not face the queue at Pillar of Salt, I made the executive decision to wander up to Pearl Cafe.
I dragged a hungry B to Pearl where we were told we would also need to wait for a table (although this time there wasn’t the harrowing line winding out the door). We grabbed a table outside and ordered coffee while we waited. I was a little annoyed when others who arrived after us were given a seat inside, however, I was too weary from hunger to muster the energy to complain.
Maybe 10-15 minutes later we were rewarded with a cosy table for two inside (I was happy we weren’t made to sit at the central communal table, as my current mood made any human interaction completely intolerable). As I viewed the menu, I was happy to find that along with the usual staples, it consisted of a variety of unusual dishes: Toasted tortilla with tomato, sliced manchego cheese, jamon and a hint of chilli ($13.50); Free range coddled eggs with a choice of either wild field mushrooms sauteed in sage and burnt butter, double smoked bacon and toasted multigrain ($16.50); or buttered english spinach, lamb and fennel seed sausages, spicy tomato jam on toasted sourdough (which I chose); or pan fried eggs middle eastern style with smoked eggplant and tomato, tahini and turkish bread ($18). There was a lot of things I wanted to try, but the eggs with fennel sausages caught my eye.
When it arrived, I was a little disappointed with the presentation. Coming from Pearl, I expected something beautiful; like artwork on a plate. The tomato jam came already spread over the toast, however, I would have rather had the pleasure to do it myself. I’m not a fan of serving things in bowls on the plate either – as soon as I got the dish I tipped the coddled eggs (hidden here under the sausage and spinach) onto the toast which, to me, was instantly more attractive. On a positive note, the dish was delicious. The eggs were runny, and the sausages were perfectly seasoned. The tomato jam too added a sweetness to the dish which I really enjoyed.
Bf-B opted for the BELT, a twist on the traditional BLT with the addition of a fried egg, and served in a toasted ciabatta roll. Nothing ground breaking, although I was thankful it did manage to pull him out of his hunger-enduced depression.
Overall I thought the food was good. Definitely some interesting choices on the menu, and a few crowd-pleasers to keep the average diner happy. They have a great lunch menu too, and a good selection of sweets. Perhaps a little pricey, but that’s to be expected with the Pearl tag.