We had Saturday morning plans in Fitzroy and spent almost an hour weighing up the pros and cons of various brunching options: Smith & Daughters, Storm in a Teacup and The Vegie Bar all opened too late for our purposes, Hammer & Tong looked a bit *too* fancy for breakfast, Grace and Industry Beans were carefully considered, but in the end we decided we'd better finally go and check out Breakfast Thieves. It's been on our radar at least since Fitzroyalty blogged about it and we've had Hayley repeatedly gush at us about it, but still it took us two years to finally drag ourselves there.
It's a not a big place - ten or so tables inside as well as a few big outdoor benches. The first thing that caught my eye was the wall of cakes and pastries, provided by the increasingly ubiquitous Matt Forbes. The two lamingtons (white chocolate and nutella or dark chocolate and salted caramel) sounded particularly alluring, but we wound up eating ourselves into a stupor on our savouries, so they'll have to wait for another visit.
The menu is pretty short, with a few vego dishes and a bunch of others that can be made meat-free but, as far as we could tell, nothing vegan friendly on offer. You're basically eating something egg-based or muesli (the French toast includes bacon and isn't marked as being available vego). The lack of completely sweet options left Cindy a bit disappointed, but she tried to make do with the breakfast chain, a kind of sampler of brekkie dishes: soft boiled eggs with cheesy toast soldiers, marbled berry yoghurt and a nectarine, apple and blueberry crumble ($18.50).
This is a really cute idea for a breakfast dish, saving you from having to make the agonising choice between sweet and savoury. Cindy decided to prioritise sweet and ate just one of the eggs - they were gooey and soft-boiled (too gooey for Cindy's taste in fact) and there were a generous pile of thickly cheesed soldiers for dunkin'. The yoghurt wasn't particularly memorable - the crumble was easily the star of the show.
I went for a purely savoury dish - The Leprechaun (crisp fried corn fritters, on rosemary roasted carrot puree, avocado-yuzu mousse, pickled cucumber and pomegranate salad plus two poached eggs, $18).
I've had kind of a downer on avocado mousse ever since Cafe Vue served up weird coils of it to us a few years ago and this didn't really win me over to the cause - I just find the texture of it off putting I think. The fritters themselves were good - they reminded me a lot of St Ali's version (both fall short of Lolo & Wren, surely Melbourne's best corn fritters) - and the eggs were well cooked. The pickley salad made the whole dish taste a teeny bit too vinegarry for me, but I'm really just nit-picking. I think my main issue was that this dish kind of tipped me over the fancy breakfast edge. It's time for a return to messy splodges of avo, chunky mushrooms and a pile of beans - I've had my fill of these slightly fussy high end brekkies.
I feel like I'm being a bit unfair to Breakfast Thieves here. They do what they do very well, it just didn't quite match up to what either of us were feeling like. The coffee was excellent, the service friendly and the vibe of the place quite pleasant (although getting busy by 9:30 or so when we left) - it's definitely worth a look if you're an egg fan and you're after something a bit fancy to get the day started.
There's no shortage of positive blog write-ups about Breakfast Thieves - Food, booze, shoes, Fitzroy Australia Dog Blog, Yellow Eggs, Please sir, can I have some more?, I Spy Plum Pie, Wanderlust Melbourne, Mon's Adventures, Just Keep Eating, The Bake-a-nista, Petit Miamx, GOOD FOOD GOOD MOOD, Brunch Addict, two munch, Occupie Fitzroy, Deconstructing Comestibles, Mr & Ms, where food is, i am, justb, I Heart Good Food, The Chronicles of Ms I-Hua & The Boy, The Hungry Excavator, Windy. Is. Wigun, Samson Girl, Melbourne Delicatesses, my diet "starts" tomorrow, Kish + Co, Eat. Play. Shop., Almost Always Ravenous, Melbourne Din(n)ing Blog, Rumbly in my Tumbly, I'm so hungree, J & J's Food Adventures, chillipadi's kitchen, new international students, Golden Delicious Smile, Let's Get Fat Together, Peach Water, A Miniature Take on Food, melbournetime, Fitzroyalty, Thanks for the smile, TOT: HOT OR NOT, The Blog of Sharlene K, Pixturesque, Gourmet Chick, melbourne's guinea pig, Popcorn & Toast, Gastronomical ramblings, secretemple, Little Miss Peckish, A Food Trail, eggswithsides, Peanut Butter Jelly, Food, Fitness & Foucault, PAINTING RACHEL RED and Melbourne Food Blogger all give it the thumbs up, while Couchfoodies, Peekashu and Breakfast of Champions were a bit less enthusiastic.
420 Gore Street, Fitzroy
menu: 1, 2, 3
Accessibility: Breakfast Thieves has a flat entryway and a reasonably spacious interior. You order at the table and pay at a low counter. The toilet is fully accessible (although the seat is a bit rickety).