27/04/2014: Gingerlee has just had a makeover and become The Old Bike Shop Cafe. It seems that some of the same key staff are involved.
To welcome in the new financial year and to wish Jo-Lyn bon voyage, we booked in for a Sunday morning brunch at Gingerlee. Cindy had selected Gingerlee as our venue after inspiration from reviews by Ange and Fiona (although Fiona's mistyping of the address as 177 rather than 117 Lygon St did send us off on a bit of a wild goose chase). Still, once we'd figured out where we were going, things looked impressive - a menu more interesting than most breakfast cafes around, a range of breakfast standards, all with a slight Middle-Eastern twist (I guess in some ways similar to Ray).
The coffee was splendid and woke me up enough to make a sensible food choice. It was hard for me to go past the poached eggs with slow-braised field mushrooms, persian feta, avocado and lemon ($13), what with it combining almost all of my breakfast favourites (a side of beans would have topped things off completely, but there's no need to be greedy). The eggs were poached to perfection, the avocado was ripe but not soft and the feta came in a slightly tangy olive oil. Divine. Not to mention the mushrooms - delicately cooked rather than the overcooked fare that are often served up and richly flavoured - I could have eaten twice as many as were served up. But the portion size was spot on really - it's rare that I walk away from a cooked breakfast without a slightly guilty, stuffed, feeling.
Cindy was always going to choose the French toast - Syrian style, with orange blossom syrup, honey labne, stewed rhubarb and pistachios ($11). Again, it sounded as though it had been expressly designed with her tastes in mind. And it didn't disappoint either - the sweet toast and the tangy labne combining deliciously. The pistachios and rhubarb looked pretty great as well (I've just asked Cindy for comment and she said, "YYUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMM!" - so interpret that how you will). Jo bravely ordered up the Gingerlee breakfast, which came with a virgin mary and some fantastic chilli jam (which I 'borrowed' liberally). Second coffees were ordered and we all tucked in and enjoyed our tremendous breakfasts. The space is pleasant and filled with natural light, the staff were helpful and friendly and the prices are pretty reasonable. Another fine addition to the Brunswick breakfast strip.
Address: 117 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Ph: 9380 4430
Price: Vegie breakasts $4.50 - $13
Website: They have www.gingerlee.com.au listed on their business cards, but it doesn't appear to be working.