Food and Drink


Breakfast Briyani in Balaclava

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It could never be said that Melbourne is short of breakfast options, though it could be argued that the range of dishes available can at times look a little same-same. That’s why on a recent trip to Grindhouse in Balaclava, my pre-caffeinated eyes lit up at menu item number six: the Breakfast Briyani.

I’d had briyani before and it’d always been pretty good, but something about having it before noon made it much more appealing. Casually disregarding the been-there Ranch Eggs of my companion I order my bold briyani, feeling pretty pleased with myself.

While breakfast is whipped up I enjoy an energising flat white made from a robust Supreme blend. The sun is out and robust Balaclava-ites are sunning themselves on outdoor tables out front and  the patio out back. It’s perfectly pleasant.

But back to business, it’s briyani time:

Indian fried rice with cashew nuts, egg and veg with papadums, cucumber raita and tomato kasundi. It’s a hearty, healthy dish – tasty with a hefty dose of cumin. The tomato kasundi (essentially tomato relish) adds a nice zing while the cucumber raita brings a refreshing swirl. A well balanced, well presented meal:  the only problem, it’s not what my belly’s craving at 10am.

As my smug friend’s really-good-looking Ranch Eggs arrive I realise there’s probably a reason I’ve never felt compelled to mix briyani with my morning coffee in the past.

Maybe because I’m boring, set in my ways or never got Optimus Prime for Christmas as a kid – whatever the reason – those Ranch Eggs (baked with smokey beans and chipolata, topped with melted cheese and served with grilled cornbread) looks pretty much like the best thing in the world right now.

Sure, might have felt like the designated driver at a bucks party, but I learned a valuable lesson: if it ain’t broke, keep eating it.

I flick through Grindhouse’s menu planning what I’ll order next time, maybe the Buttermilk Pancake Stack, Cinnamon-Laced French Toast, Special Steak Sandwich…

217 Carlisle St, Balaclava
9525 9280
Open Sun – Tues 7am – 4.30pm
Wed – Sat 7am – 10pm

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