Lolo and Wren
484 Albion Street, Brunswick West
03 8657 8515
Breakfast, Cafe, Coffee, Coffee and Tea
Crispy Croque Monsieur
The Pig Boss
Coffee competition in Brunswick is fierce and the offerings at Lolo and Wren to not disappoint. We ordered both the guest blend and the single origin and while both were excellent coffees, the guest blend just had the edge with an overall fuller taste and body.
The Pig Boss was a flavour sensation barely contained within the confines of a roll, as it contained a mouthwatering list of ingredients including Chinese spiced slow cooked pork shoulder, Sichuan pork crackling, peanuts, Asian herbs and Sriracha mayonnaise. The balance of flavours were incredible as the heat of the mayo and crackling perfectly played off with the fresh coriander, also helping to cut through the beautifully cooked pork. The crackling and to an extent the herbs provided a fantastic textural contrast, making for tasty, if slightly mouthfuls.
The Crispy Croque Monsieur was a really great twist on the traditional French sandwich. The ham, gooey Swiss cheese and bread were all standard, but the addition of cheese and chive cream was a fantastic addition, and cuts through the fatty richness, increasing the flavour with a slight onion bite. However the least standard part of this sandwich is the breading and frying which ended up being a surprise as it retains the crunch of a well-toasted slice of bread, but having slightly more give and a bit of a different texture.
The Black Betty was a drink on the specials menu and was an exercise in fantastic beverage excess. Consisting of a double shot of espresso (served on the side, of course) chocolate ganache, chocolate ice cream, honeycomb toffee and freeze-dried strawberry, the sweet ‘drink’, which is really more of a dessert, really comes alive with the addition of the coffee, really helping to offset the sweetness.
We added the potato gems with garlic aioli to the Pig Boss order because potatoes are life, but while the garlic aioli is a classic and tasty addition, the potatoes fell a little short. They weren’t as crisp as they could be on the surface and weren’t pillowy soft on the inside. Potatoes are a core side dish and a little more care, or a change in cooking method could see an improvement.
Aside from excellent coffee, Lolo and Wren is a fantastic restaurant that serves really good food that falls away from the standard Melbournian cafe fare, seamlessly integrating flavour influences from around the world.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Yes! The drink specials might be quite a mouthful, but food offerings all seem mouthwatering.
The Penguin Eats would like to thank the Lolo and Wren team for their hospitality and Taking A Bite for organising the visit.