I've been meaning to try the Galleon Cafe for breakfast ever since Mary recommended it to us in a comment and on her own blog. A further search revealed that Jamie the Breakfast Blogger gives its old-school cred a nod. All good signs, but I decided to delay my visit by a further week so that the excursion would coincide with the Vegout Farmers' Market.
I suppose I could say, "It was worth the wait". It would be more fair to wail,
"Oh my god, the wasted time - I've lived a year in Melbourne without seeing the Galleon breakfast menu!"
This is my kinda place. It's grungy with second hand furniture and art on the walls, but it's not overly pretentious. Active young families, wankers with their turned-up industrie shirt collars and Paris-wannabe girlfriends, and oldsters with trendy glasses and newspapers were dotted amongst the hungover hipsters I expected to populate the room. And with all these people enjoying their breakfasts at various volumes, there were no spare tables inside for us. We managed to snag the last outside one, meaning our meal would come with a side of car exhaust and an interval of attention-seeking from a couple of unleashed dogs. But no matter, because as I hinted (ha!) above, the menu at the Galleon rocks.
This place isn't vegetarian, but the vast majority of its dishes are. And sure, you could order toast or muesli or French toast or eggs on toast, but why would you? There are three kinds of bagels, three kinds of porridge, savoury scones, poached fruit with ricotta and biscotti, rice pudding, pikelets! These ain't your average cafe breakfast. I could have very happily ordered any one of these (well, maybe not the bagel with smoked salmon), but I felt compelled to choose an eggless savoury breakfast that is one of my favourites - vegetarian bubble'n'squeak ($10, pictured top). It was big (that's one of those oversized restaurant plates) and beautiful, in an ugly sort of way. Served with multigrain toast, it had those caramelised crunchy bits from where the potato stuck to the frypan, and two grilled ripe little tomatoes perched on top for the perfect amount of moisture. The probably-frozen pea-carrot-corn medley wasn't ideal, but everything else was there.
Michael went for the sweet potato, basil and feta hash browns served with wilted spinach, a poached egg and house-made relish ($11.50). I swiped a forkful of hash brown and it was sweet-salty heaven on a plate.
Since our visit Jack (from Eating with Jack) announced that she has just shifted her breakfasting loyalties to the Galleon to correspond with a shift from her favourite Las Chicas staff. Given how much I liked Las Chicas, this can only be good news for the Galleon. But I didn't need to know that to be impressed - as we wandered over to the market, I suggested to Michael in a most roundabout way that if we stayed in St Kilda for a couple of hours we could always go back there for lunch. I had my eye on the pikelets. And I'll devour them yet, dammit!
So, go forth and breakfast at the Galleon. It has everything the Boathouse didn't offer (a vegetarian) at little more than half the price. Just get up earlier than the hungover hipsters to ensure a table indoors.
Address: 9 Carlisle St, St Kilda
Ph: 9534 8934
Price: veg breakfasts $3-13