With his birthday only just finished, Michael was due to pack, get on a plane and go someplace else on Friday. He convinced me to make it a late morning to work and share a cafe breakfast with him. We chose Poached - one of the many cafes lining the Brunswick end of Lygon St, and one of the few we had yet to visit.
While the breakfast menu is extensive, there was nothing on it that really begged to be tasted - the run of toast variations, muesli and fruit all looked pretty standard and the rest of the menu was Egg Central and involved a lot of meat. While ordering, though, we found our waiter to be most accommodating - rather than hearing a terse "no changes to the menu", we discovered that it was no problem for me to have the French toast without the bacon, nor for Michael to exchange tomatoes for baked beans. I may even have spied a nearby diner tucking into mushrooms, tomatoes and toast without the requisite eggs.
Michael's vegetarian big breakfast ($13.50, pictured above) featured poached eggs, mushrooms, grilled potatoes, sauteed spinach,
grilled tomatoes baked beans and grilled haloumi. He remarked on their fine poaching skills (I guess they can keep their name), though the rest of the plate didn't have him brimming with enthusiasm - the beans, in particular, weren't up to the high standards set by other nearby cafes.
Meanwhile, I tucked into French toast with pear, mascarpone and maple syrup ($12.50 - no bacon, thanks). I was a little confused when I cut into the toast and observed an oozing white centre - was the toast not cooked through? Actually, the mascarpone had been spread between the layers! It was a nice contrast against the crispy-fried outer. Shame about the snowstorm of icing sugar all over the plate (and ultimately all over me and my black shirt!).
Our lingering morning at Poached was an enjoyable one, but it seems unlikely we'll be back. While the waitstaff were truly lovely, the wait for food was unacceptably long - especially considering we visited on a weekday, when the cafe was never more than half full. The dishes on offer are pleasant and apparently adaptable to your preference, but the ones we sampled didn't match the creativity or quality of Poached's Brunswick breakfast peers.
Address: 169 Lygon St, Brunswick East
Ph: 9387 2396
Price: veg breakfasts $3.50-$13.50