Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 9, 2008: Babka

After being part of our Baba trip on Friday night, Mike free-associated his way to suggesting Babka on Sunday morning, and we muddled our way along at 10ish to finally taste some of the famed Babka breakfasts. Surprisingly, we were able to strut straight in and nab ourselves a table - when Cindy and I have previously tried to get a breakfast table here we've been scared off by the queues and headed for wwwash and Ici instead. No such problems this time - whether this reflected the growing number of hip breakfast eateries in the area or a decline in Babka's quality was unclear.

The menu had our hopes up - a choose-your-own-adventure style eggs menu with the key additives (beans, mushrooms, avocado), some intriguing sounding Georgian baked beans, French toast, croissants and a whole board of specials.

The star of the breakfast specials was the menemen, a scrambled eggs filled with tomato, chilli, fetta, mint and parsley on some of Babka's own foccacia ($12). I ordered it in a flash (although the Georgian beans had made things interesting for a moment) and was suitably impressed: well cooked eggs, delicious chunks of fetta, and a variety of flavours from the herbs and the chilli. All mopped up with the fresh and lightly toasted foccacia. I should mention the size - this is a pretty big breakfast for $12, and if you hold off until about 11 to eat it, it should see you through until dinner.

Cindy of course had her eyes on the sweet side of the menu - not the French toast (although Jo did order it, and found it a tad disappointing), but the Russian blintzes ($9.50).

Two little parcels of deliciousness filled with sweetened cottage cheese, sultanas and lathered in a citrus sauce. I didn't even get a taste. She raved about the citrus sauce and, despite initial fears that there was an insufficient volume of food, was well stuffed by the rich cheesy packages.

It's also worth noting the drink special of the morning: a lemongrass and ginger iced tea served with lemon and mint over ice. This barely tasted like tea at all, instead being described as the best lemon cordial ever.

I was quite taken with some of the lunch options on Babka's menu (mushroom stroganoff, potato and mushroom dumplings, asparagus and provolone cheese tart), and our breakfast was pretty impressive, so I'm expecting a further trip pretty soon.

Address: 358 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Ph: 9416 0091
Price: Breakfast $6-$12


  1. haven't had the iced tea but I want to now - but am a bit fan of babka - it's been a while and now you have me keen to go there again - and it is hard to leave without a loaf of their bread (even if you can't get a table)!

  2. They have the BEST croissants and the cakes and bread look fantastic. Nice coffee, too. But I was there for lunch a couple of weeks ago and had the mushroom dumplings and was underwhelmed. The mushroom was pretty mushroomy but there still wasn't enough of it to counter the plain doughy outer, and the heavy dough combined with the pool of butter they came in made for a pretty solid but - for me - unsatisfying meal. stomach sated, mouth disappointed.
    let me know what you think if you go.. or maybe you will choose more wisely than i! :)

    ps we had the blintzes too. yum!

  3. Huh - that's a shame, Cathy! I might try something different from their lunch menu if I return soon. Of course the dessert cabinet is always enticing... either way, you can bet there'll be more iced tea. :-D