It's increasingly difficult to keep up with Melbourne's burgeoning cafe scene - it seems as though every week in every suburb across the city somewhere new opens up selling fancy brunches and good coffee. We made a rare foray to North Melbourne on Saturday to check out the 'new' Queensberry Street destination Elceed (note: Elceed has been open for more than year, that's just how things are for us these days).
Behind the fairly unassuming exterior, Elceed has an old-fashioned op-shoppy sort of charm: mismatched chairs, cute teacups and a couple of terrariums around the place. There's an inviting looking courtyard out the back, but Saturday morning was ludicrously cold for mid-November so we settled inside.
At 9:00am on a Saturday things are lively without being too busy - no sign of Melbourne's breakfast queues here. The menu is veg-friendly and, although there's nothing overtly vegan, Fiona reports that they're happy to put something together on request. They don't label gluten-free options but they do promise GF-toast, so coeliacs should have options.
One option they won't have is what Cindy ordered, the $13.50 breakfast fruit crumble with polenta fruit topping and vanilla bean yoghurt (the crumble has a bit of flour in it for binding)
Cindy pronounced this the best breakfast crumble she had ever eaten. Which is high praise indeed given how regularly she orders it. The fruit mix combined rhubarb and apple with little bursts of blueberry freshness, and the polenta and toasted nut-based crumble had plenty of crunch. A real winner.
I ordered off the specials list, going for the gremlin eggs: poached eggs on sourdough with baby spinach, grilled asparagus and avocado, topped with basil hollandaise (there was no price on the specials board and we forgot to pay attention, but it was probably about $15).
This was pretty great as well - the eggs were perfectly poached, the asparagus grilled enough to not be tough but still retaining some texture, and the avo was green and ripe. The basil hollandaise was good, but didn't quite reach the heights of the sauce I imagined - it lacked that bit of tang that a good hollandaise has. Obviously they're not going for a classical hollandaise sauce here though, so it may have just been my imagination setting impossible standards. This was still an excellent brekkie - and there were heaps of other wonderful-sounding savoury dishes for me to try (grilled haloumi! corn fritters! pea and broadbean mash!).
With great coffee and friendly staff, Elceed is another fantastic brunching place in Melbourne and given it's relatively convenient location for visiting the Queen Vic Markets, it's one we'll probably visit again soon (right after we try Wooly Bully, Twenty & Six and Beatrix of course!).
Elceed has uniformly positive reviews - check out: dear melbourne, Au Revior, Memory Lane, tirache, speakeat, melbourne with the rocket, A Miniature Take on Food, new international students, Sarah Cooks, Munch & Muse, Footscray Food Blog and Charles Whyte.
610 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
veg dishes $4.5-16.90
Accessibility: There's a step up on entry and things are relatively cluttered inside (although Fiona reckons pram-wielding peeps will manage okay). The bathrooms are located outside, down a small flight of stairs. We ordered at the table and paid at a low counter.