One of the things I loved most about Melbourne was that there was no shortage of excellent cafes to go to for breakfast. I’ve already told you about the 65/65 egg and the madeleines at Cumulus Inc., as well as the eggs and soldiers and fried brioche at The Hardware Société, but today it’s time to talk bacon and eggs, french toast, and crepes for brekky.
On one of the mornings we head down to Degraves St which is a laneway of cafes near Flinders St Station. It’s packed out on a Sunday morning but we stand and wait a while outside Degraves Espresso Bar and soon we’re shown to a table inside and our much needed coffee orders are taken.
Sir D decides to go for classic bacon and eggs this morning, with scrambled eggs on toast plus a side of bacon. The eggs are creamy and well-seasoned and the bacon was awesome as usual (how can bacon not be awesome?)
I choose the French toast with maple syrup, strawberries, cinnamon and honey. It’s sweet and quite decadent for breakfast but that doesn’t stop me from drowning it in the maple syrup from the little jug and savouring each bite. Luckily for me, Sir D and I swap plates halfway so that there’s some savoury to balance out the sweet, and I don’t end up on a major sugar high for the rest of the morning.
For our last morning in Melbourne, some friends and I decide to try something different. We head towards Hardware Lane but away from the Hardware Société (since we’d already been twice in one week!) and in the opposite direction, finding ourselves in a laneway with little tiles making up the pavement. It’s quiet but then we stumble on a quaint little French cafe called Creperie le Triskel that serves crepes and instantly we’re won over by the cute little French touches.
The inside of the cafe only has limited seating so we’re lucky that it’s still early and we manage to grab a table for the four of us. We’re surrounded by a map of France, some French books along the window sill and a sign that tells you how to order in French hanging over the counter. Even though some of us had studied French in high school, none of us are brave enough to order our breakfast in French since we want to avoid embarrassment from our terrible accents.
When we order drinks, I spot cafe au lait on the menu (literally “coffee with milk”) which can be ordered either in a cup or in a bowl. In a bowl! How could I resist? So, after bracing myself for slight hyperactivity and alertness way into the afternoon, I go for the bowl and out comes a literal soup-bowl sized coffee, with a soup spoon as well! Ok, so it wasn’t the best coffee I’d ever had and I’m sure it’s not quite the same as they make it in France, but it’s as close as I’m going to get without actually having to go to Europe. And you have to admit, drinking coffee out of a bowl does have high novelty factor heh.
As for the food, we all have sweet tooths so we order two savoury items to share and two sweet crepes to finish. There are breakfast specials available so we order the Croque Madame from the breakfast menu. The toasted sandwich is filled with melty gruyere, tomato and ham and topped with a fried egg and cracked pepper. It’s served on a bed of salad leaves but I’m more interested in the gooey yolk which is oozing out of the fried egg.
The big breakfast gives us all an opportunity to sample the galettes, or savoury crepes, from this creperie. We choose the galette with ham, cheese and mushrooms to go with the fried egg, spinach and buttered toast that’s included in the big breakfast. It also comes with a glass of orange juice or a regular coffee. The serving is very generous and we each get half a galette each for ourselves. It’s definitely enough to share between two people if you’re planning on having a sweet crepe afterwards.
After we polish off the savoury items, we ask to have a look at the sweet crepes. While BLT is drawn to the word chocolate, my eyes are drawn to the word ‘fire’ on the menu! Instead of fighting over which one we should order (chocolate or fire?), we compromise and order both :)
The crepe with fresh strawberries and chocolate is a sight to behold with chocolate sauce smothered on the inside and outside of the crepe, and sliced macerated strawberries scattered on the outside. The ice cream is served in a separate dish. The crepe is super thin but strong enough to hold the fillings and it’s probably not something you’d eat for breakfast everyday, but I think we can justify it because it’s our last day in Melbourne.
I don’t think fire is something I’d eat for breakfast everyday either but it’s on the menu and it’s on our table as well! The L’Originel crepe contains Calvados which is lit at the table so that the blue and yellow flames do a lively and quite a lengthy dance on top of our crepe. Inside, the crepe is filled with braised apple and cinnamon, and on top of it sits a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dusting of ground cinnamon over the top. Even though the alcohol is burnt off, the Calvados is still quite strongly alcoholic but it complements the flavours of the apple and cinnamon.
Creperie le Triskel a cute little French cafe tucked away in one of Melbourne’s many laneways and we’re slightly bummed we didn’t find it earlier in our stay. The staff are super friendly there and it’s definitely a place I would return to next time I have the leisure of breakfasting in Melbourne!
Degraves Espresso Bar
25 Degraves St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9654 1245
Open 7 days for breakfast and lunch, open til late Monday to Friday.
Creperie le Triskel
32 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 7am – 4pm (from 8am on Saturdays and til 9pm on Fridays)