24 Leakes Street, Essendon
03 9448 8340
Breakfast, Cafe, Coffee, Coffee and Tea
- Seasonal Local Mushrooms, Pickled Mushrooms, Mushroom Puree
- 21 Day House Cured Dry Aged Duck Ham, Poached Eggs, Duck Liver Parfait
- Waffle, Lime Curd, Mango Sorbet
It was off to a brilliant start with the Duck dish. The stunning beauty of the dish made way for some incredible flavours. Liberally draped on top of two thick slices of sourdough toast, we found the delicate and tender, 21day dry aged duck ham simply incredible. With an unapologetically bold flavour, the soft protein offered up a beautifully soft texture that simply melted away in your mouth. This was well complemented by the incredibly creamy though not overly rich duck liver parfait, with a slight airiness and once again, exceptional duck flavours throughout. Hidden within were two perfect poached eggs, with aptly runny yolks that held all the components together. The generous amount of shaved fennel offered a crisp, refreshing sensation that rightly contrasted the richer components of the dish, while the dollop of orange provided an unexpected, though interesting twist of sweetness throughout.
Our Mushroom dish was equally enjoyable. Topped with an abundance of fresh, juicy mushrooms cooked just so, they offered up a slight crunch before giving way to an almost explosive inner. The light seasoning ensured that you could truly appreciate the fresh aroma of the mushrooms, and the flavours were made even more intense by the thick and creamy mushroom puree. The addition of pickled mushrooms scattered throughout added a polarising tang, though the herb puree and the flawless poached egg were both welcome additions to this beautiful mushroom dish.
We ended our meal with the amazing Waffles. This seemingly simple dish definitely delivered on the sugar fix we were looking for. The soft, spongy and incredibly fresh waffles were just perfect, with a pleasant milky and eggy sensation throughout. This was topped with a sweet and refreshing lime curd and mango sorbet, offering just the right amount of tartness to balance out the sweetness of the mango. The abundance of coconut shavings provided a nice variation in texture throughout, while the occasional chunks of banana bread added a thick and wholesome sensation to the dish.
With every component of every dish made intricately, as well as a carefully designed menu by Michelin-trained Raffi Hazm, it’s no surprise that everything came together so perfectly.
From the complex, cured duck ham to the seemingly simple waffles, the near-flawless execution, coupled with the delicately balanced flavours and textures of ingredients used in such creative ways, all made for a thoroughly enjoyable brunch fare that’s definitely one of the best we’ve seen for a long, long time.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Most definitely. That duck dish was definitely to die for, and we may have just found our favourite North-side brunch spot!
Penguineats would like to thank owner Marcus for inviting us to History Cafe.