Monday, June 06, 2011

June 4, 2011: Heirloom

We've been dropping by the Queen Vic Markets quite a bit lately on the weekends and have enjoyed starting our trips with breakfasts at nearby places. This week we decided to check out Heirloom, one of the few places open in the city on the weekend. Cindy had spotted Nouveau Potato's emphatic thumbs up for Heirloom and knew that they did weekend breakfasts, so we were excited to give it a shot.

Heirloom's schtick is French-Japanese fusion, which manifests in a breakfast menu split into East and West. West is fairly bog-standard cafe fare - poached eggs, avocado on toast, toast and spreads - you know the drill. East is a bit more intriguing, including an enoki and shitake omelette, and steamed eggs with tofu and tamari. We both ordered from this side of the menu - Cindy went with a milk rice pudding with stewed plums, vanilla and fresh lychee ($13.50).

This rice pudding was more a rice porridge: warm and cooked 'til almost all texture disintegrated. The poached plums seem to have been seasonally replaced by pears but the lychee remained. This was a hearty and warming dish, with strong saffron and vanilla flavours adding something to the milky mush. Not a bad winter brekkie.

I chose the most interesting-looking option on the menu: panko crumbed free-range eggs with asparagus, smoked almond, preserved lemon and burnt butter ($16).

The crumbed poached eggs were a great idea, just a little overcooked - the yolks weren't as runny as I hoped for and the whites had gone a little rubbery. Still, the combination with the lightly cooked asparagus, lemony-butter sauce and a plentiful serve of flaked and whole nuts. Not bad at all.

The fit-out is lovely - lots of airy space and nice big windows. The coffee was adequate, as was the service (very efficient, if a little on the curt side) and our meals were both good enough. It's great to see a place offering some interesting dishes, but there are still a few bugs to iron out.


As we said, Nouveau Potato's rave was what put Heirloom on our radar. Veg blogger Kinder Cuisine was also inspired to visit, but didn't have such a great experience.

In the non-veg world, Ravenous Melbourne really enjoyed their breakfast visit, while Momo and Coco focussed on desserts and were quite impressed. Others have mostly been there at dinner time, and have generally not been so thrilled: Melbourne Culinary Journal, Very Very Hungry Caterpillar, Tomato and Sharking for chips and drinks.


131 Bourke Street, Melbourne
9639 1296
Breakfast: $9-$20

Accessibility: Looks good, with a flat and wide entry and lots of space inside, then table service with payment at a low counter.


  1. Interesting review, I've been past this place on the tram, might have to check it out, looks like some tasty food going on!

  2. I had been wanting to try it for breakfast. Your food looks really nice but nothing is worse than rubbery eggs! Seems the food and service are a bit hit and miss.

  3. Yes, we found it hit and miss! Good on 'em for trying something different with their menu, though.