Our vague plan to entertain Doof on Saturday morning was to go for a wander along Chapel Street. The first step, however, was to find some breakfast. A quick scan of Cheap Eats gave us a few options, and the description of Cafe Varda as "a comfy slipper in the heart of stilletto land" struck a chord. The menu and setting were very much comfy slipper material, so much so that I was slightly concerned that the food would be cheap and greasy. It was certainly cheap, but the chef soon convinced us that it would make our tastebuds "explode" and we settled in.
The chef's enthusiasm was infectious and when Doof ordered a short-black, he rolled up his sleeves and promised to make a special, velvet coffee - like real Italians drink (he even made one for himself to prove the point). Doof was suitably impressed, although after the build-up he really couldn't have reacted any other way.
The menu focussed on the basics, with a few vegetarian options. Doof and I both chose the Ant special: a poached egg served on a tomato and avocado bruschetta with pesto, while Cindy opted for the tastebud-exploding vegetarian melt: oven-baked veges, tomato, pesto, marinated mushrooms, cheese and chutney melted on to a huge soft piece of white bread. Everything in the Ant Special was amazing - the avocado was fresh and tasty and made the bruschetta about a million times better than plain tomato bruschetta, the egg was poached to perfection and the pesto topped it all off. Both Doof and I were finished in no time. Cindy took longer over her melt, but she assures me that her tastebuds did in fact explode.
It was a fine breakfast, made special by our gregarious host. Trust me, it's well worth seeking out Cafe Varda instead of one of the more stylishly decorated and expensive places along Toorak Road.
Address: 69 Davis Avenue, South Yarra
Phone: 9867 6444
Price: $4 - $15