Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
10. Mar, 2011
In some ways Melbourne’s like a junkie chasing it’s next hit, pushing the boundaries and testing the limits in search of that next elusive high. Except in this case the drug of choice isn’t horse, it’s breakfast. Serving up a decent egg and coffee just doesn’t cut it anymore, you’ve got to add fusion, fair-trade and organic with a twist of virgin rainforest to make a mark these days. Well Melbourne, Pearl Oyster is the place for you.
Nestled in a bustling shopping strip up in Preston, Pearl Oyster is a comfortable, double-fronted space with retro furniture, kitsch art and a nifty courtyard out back. The kitchen is that thin bit between the coffee machine and the wall, which makes what they’re cranking out all the more impressive.
The menu, bound in an old almanac, mixes and mashes traditional breakfast fare with Italian, Middle-Eastern and (mostly) Asian influences. We choose the Sambal Spinach Omelette (with free-range ham, crispy fried shallots and chili on toasted sourdough, $16) and the Pearl Oyster Poached Egg (house cured salmon, avocado, Kupi mayo and fragrant herb salad, $16).
The omelette comes out first, virtually hanging off the sides of the plate. Not the prettiest dish I’ve encountered, but I can tell it means business. Tucking in the sambal hits me smack in the mouth, but not before I’ve got a taste of the ham. I’m used to thin-sliced deli ham in my omelettes, but this stuff tastes like it’s been carved from Babe himself. Salty, laden with chili and humongous, this isn’t a meal for the faint hearted.
Switching gears the poached egg arrives, beauty to my omelette’s beast. Petite, artfully arranged and bursting with colour, I almost hesitate eating something so pretty (well, not really). The house cured salmon is wonderfully fleshy and fresh, the plump poached egg works well with the mayo and the salad keeps everything nice and light. The two meals couldn’t me more different, and that’s what makes it all work so nicely.
Staff are friendly and the coffee’s strong. I know where I’m heading for my next hit.
114 Miller St, Preston
Mon, Wed – Sat 8am – 4.30pm
Sun 8am – 4pm
CafeSmart is helping out the homeless while you enjoy a nice cup of coffee.
Head along to the Next Wave Festival Breakfast Club to hear big opinions, heated discussion, and personal stories and provocations while eating breaky.
The Carlton North cafe's open late every Tuesday letting you get crafty with paints, play dough, badge making and zooper doopers.