Monday, November 05, 2007

November 3, 2007: The Galleon Cafe

I've been meaning to try the Galleon Cafe for breakfast ever since Mary recommended it to us in a comment and on her own blog. A further search revealed that Jamie the Breakfast Blogger gives its old-school cred a nod. All good signs, but I decided to delay my visit by a further week so that the excursion would coincide with the Vegout Farmers' Market.

I suppose I could say, "It was worth the wait". It would be more fair to wail,

"Oh my god, the wasted time - I've lived a year in Melbourne without seeing the Galleon breakfast menu!"

This is my kinda place. It's grungy with second hand furniture and art on the walls, but it's not overly pretentious. Active young families, wankers with their turned-up industrie shirt collars and Paris-wannabe girlfriends, and oldsters with trendy glasses and newspapers were dotted amongst the hungover hipsters I expected to populate the room. And with all these people enjoying their breakfasts at various volumes, there were no spare tables inside for us. We managed to snag the last outside one, meaning our meal would come with a side of car exhaust and an interval of attention-seeking from a couple of unleashed dogs. But no matter, because as I hinted (ha!) above, the menu at the Galleon rocks.

This place isn't vegetarian, but the vast majority of its dishes are. And sure, you could order toast or muesli or French toast or eggs on toast, but why would you? There are three kinds of bagels, three kinds of porridge, savoury scones, poached fruit with ricotta and biscotti, rice pudding, pikelets! These ain't your average cafe breakfast. I could have very happily ordered any one of these (well, maybe not the bagel with smoked salmon), but I felt compelled to choose an eggless savoury breakfast that is one of my favourites - vegetarian bubble'n'squeak ($10, pictured top). It was big (that's one of those oversized restaurant plates) and beautiful, in an ugly sort of way. Served with multigrain toast, it had those caramelised crunchy bits from where the potato stuck to the frypan, and two grilled ripe little tomatoes perched on top for the perfect amount of moisture. The probably-frozen pea-carrot-corn medley wasn't ideal, but everything else was there.

Michael went for the sweet potato, basil and feta hash browns served with wilted spinach, a poached egg and house-made relish ($11.50). I swiped a forkful of hash brown and it was sweet-salty heaven on a plate.

Since our visit Jack (from Eating with Jack) announced that she has just shifted her breakfasting loyalties to the Galleon to correspond with a shift from her favourite Las Chicas staff. Given how much I liked Las Chicas, this can only be good news for the Galleon. But I didn't need to know that to be impressed - as we wandered over to the market, I suggested to Michael in a most roundabout way that if we stayed in St Kilda for a couple of hours we could always go back there for lunch. I had my eye on the pikelets. And I'll devour them yet, dammit!

So, go forth and breakfast at the Galleon. It has everything the Boathouse didn't offer (a vegetarian) at little more than half the price. Just get up earlier than the hungover hipsters to ensure a table indoors.

Address: 9 Carlisle St, St Kilda
Ph: 9534 8934
Price: veg breakfasts $3-13


  1. My partner has always had a real soft spot for this place. I'm so glad you love it too!

  2. Sounds great. Definitley something to try out when I have an empty morning. And thanks for adding my blog to your listings - I have had bloggers inform me that they have found my ramblings thanks to you :-)

    Happy eating, Jon! (Melbourne Foodie)

  3. Well, I agree. Best breakfat place with fun staff, great selection for vegos and don't you love the tables?

    Might even see you there one morning. We love it - just down the road. Lucky us...

  4. Truffle, I am probably one of the last people in Melbourne to discover this place! Looks like it has a lot of fans already. :-)

    Hi Jon! You're welcome on the link - I like to keep up with what everyone's eating in Melbourne, it's a great way to find new restaurants. :-)

    Lucy, the tables were one of the first things I noticed! My grandmother had one of those. I'll keep an eye out for you next time.

  5. No, Cindy sadly that honour goes to me and I can damn well WALK there!!!! What is going on with my life that I know nothing... sad isn't it... well it's time to pick myself up, dust myself off and walk my chubby little body down there!!! Will keep you posted on my opnion... Vida x x x

  6. Vida, I hope you'll report back on the sweet side of the menu! Or perhaps I'll just have to return VERY SOON and try it myself. :-D

  7. Actually, Vida, you and Cindy must be the third-last and second-last people in Melbourne to hear about this place... but after taking one look at those SWEET sweet potato/basil/feta hash browns, I will most definitely be heading down there soon! Thanks for the tip-off, Cindy :)

  8. Yep, I think the hash browns will be worth the trip, Mutemonkey! :-)

  9. Call me crazy but I did not have anything sweet!!???!!!!??? Honestly there was nothing there that they don't have at Las Chicas, in fact the menu right across was almost identical, it was scarey... The coffee was good but it was EXACTLY the same brand, service was lousy but DAMN it was cheap and buzzing and Rob Sitch and what's the other Reisler, oh you know the guys off the panel, I tell you it was a week for celebrity spotting!! Vida x

  10. No sweets for you either, Vida? What is going ON?! I will definitely have to return to Las Chicas soon, it is almost a year since I've been there - I remember being impressed with the long and appetising menu there as well.

    You sure have been rubbing shoulders with the celebs lately!

  11. I have now found ANOTHER cafe that is great with the "baked goods", Gattica, yum, flourless orange, passionfruit, chocolate and the most moist muffins with TONS of choc chips (berry and white choc was my choice), truly delicious and the same guy making coffee everytime I went so it's consistent. I don't know what it is with the celebs, they're everywhere!!! Vida x x x

  12. I'm bookmarking Gattica for future reference. Thanks for the tip, Vida!