2A Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell
03 9882 7359
Cafe, Coffee, Coffee and Tea
- Strawberry Lamington Hotcakes
- Bubble & Squeak Hash Stack
- Blueberry Pannacotta
- Jaffa Brioche French Toast
- ‘Instagram Special’ – Matcha Poached Pear with Belgian Waffles
The highlight of our brunch was perhaps the Strawberry Lamington Hotcakes. Bright red in colour, the singular hotcake exhibited great height and a perfectly round. Digging into the hotcake itself, it was revealed to be pillowy soft and rather spongey. With an abundance of coconut shavings sprinkled on top, the sweetness of the strawberry flavour from the hotcake and the strawberry coulis offered up the perfect ‘lamington’ sensation. A beautiful dish with taste to match!
The Bubble & Squeak Hash Stack felt rather pedestrian in comparison. The potato hash was fried to a nice crisp, with a pleasant variation of textures within. However it was most definitely light on seasoning and the resultant flavours were expectedly lacklustre. It borrowed much of its taste from the tomato relish, which was rather sweet on this occasion and perhaps threw off the flavour profile of the savoury items. Some pieces of bacon were also over-fried and resulted in excessively charred and inedible pieces. The sourdough sitting at the bottom was also rock hard, so much so that it was literally inedible given the cutlery cutlery provided. The mushrooms we attempted to add-on also failed to eventuate…
The “Instagram Special” failed to impress on this occasion. The almost neon-green matcha poached pear was the star of the show, though we failed to detect any matcha flavours within. Sitting underneath was the much-anticipated Belgian waffle, which are notoriously difficult to execute well. This time was no exception, with the waffles disappointingly dense and doughy, without a crispy outer nor an airy inner that we were hoping for.
The presentation of the Blueberry Pannacotta was no doubt a surprise. Three small dollops of pannacotta topping a scattering of granola, yoghurt and berries. While the house-made, honey glazed granola was absolutely delectable and provided a satisfying crunch with each bite, the pannacotta was less impressive. Despite the bright blue appearance, we failed to taste any blueberry flavour within the pannacotta, which also erred on the side of being runny and not properly set.
Another sweet dish we sampled was the Jaffa Brioche French Toast. With a generous amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on, the french toast was presented in carefully stacked triangles. Despite the beautiful presentation, it was universally agreed that the french toast was unexpectedly dense, lacking in sponginess and devoid of the buttery brioche flavour we were hoping for, perhaps masked by an overwhelming sense of cinnamon. We couldn’t quite get a good taste of the citrus flavours of the dish, though the whipped Nutella mascarpone provided a pleasant hazelnut and chocolate richness that was contrasted by the coarseness of the freeze-dried berries and hazelnut crumble.
With drinks taking over 20minutes to arrive and mains more than half an hour to eventuate, the brunch can only be best described as very photogenic, yet markedly average. While bonus points should be given for creativity, the execution was disappointingly a hit and miss on this occasion.
For the sole purpose of making your friends jealous of your weekend brunch, this alone may be reason enough to visit. Although there are plenty of other cafes that dish out food that is arguably just as pretty, but also taste amazing too.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Given the abundance of great cafes in its immediate surroundings, it’s hard to warrant a return visit to Prospect Espresso.
While the ‘misses’ we experienced today may just be a once-off, we really do hope more emphasis is placed on both taste and presentation, rather than just presentation itself.
Penguineats would like to thank @shortxstout and Prospect Espresso for inviting us.