The Good, The Fad & The Stodgy 

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Breakfast in St Kilda

The Good: Fitzrovia

Diverse is an over-used word. Diverse music taste, diverse fashion, diverse ethnic mix, diverse criminal record… all well-worn phrases, the fodder of lazy journalism. That said, Fitzrovia’s breakfast menu is anything but narrow, it’s as wide and expansive as Australia itself, but without the aridity and dead zones in the middle. It’s luscious by comparison, littered with real show stoppers by Head Chef Paul Jewson. The Polenta crusted gemfish fish fingers with grilled chorizo is definitely something you wouldn’t find in the barren wastelands of Uluru, where locals exclusively survive off witchetty grubs and McDonalds.

The mere mention of Fish Fingers conjures memories of the school canteens and budget dinner options – frozen rectangles of unidentifiable sea sludge, congealed and encased in breadcrumbs. Delicious.

Naturally, Fitzrovia’s version jazzes up the formula, an extreme makeover equivalent to recasting Eastenders with The Bold & Beautiful. In addition to everything in the title, they also have corn and coriander fritters, poached eggs, avocado and feta mash and prosecco hollandaise.

The barrage of tastes and textures will leave you feeling sophisticated and healthy, with the glow of someone in the less diverse end of Fitzroy St.

The Fad: Matcha Mylkbar

Matcha: the vegan haven that mimics food prohibited on such a diet. Whether you think it’s strange that a converted vegan would want to consume something that mimics bacon (fakon), the smell, texture, colour, is a valid quandary; a philosophical conundrum that seems to have swooped over the heads of most patrons.

The composition of their Vegans Eggs was explained to us in very technical terms by a member of staff that was either too serious about his job, or a bonafide egg scientist. We just nodded and pretended to understand the barrage of jargon. which went something like this: The “egg white” for the vegan eggs is made from agar-agar, a jelly-like substance derived from algae. It’s coloured by almond and coconut milk. The “yolk” is a soft puree made from sweet potato, coconut milk and linseed protein. The whole egg is then cooked in a sous vide bath and served with a sprinkling of matcha salt.

After half-understanding the chemistry of our breakfast, I was expecting their Big Breakfast with Eggs to be some kind of astronaut meal, leaving the chemical aftertaste of a big weekend. But the food was spookily similar. Two poached vegan eggs, two slices of sourdough toast, konjac bacon, potato & leek rosti, two roasted mushrooms, wilted kale and tomato relish. With a few more Bloody Marys, one could get tricked into believing this was the real thing. Fooled into being a conscientious, caring member of society.

Perhaps this is the way forward. Hoodwinked into Veganism… Matcha might have just cracked a way to save our planet.

The Stodgy – Fifth Province

There comes a point in everyone’s life where you drop your best intentions, disregard your regimented rules and regulations, throw caution to the wind and engage in some frenzied indulgence. For many, this occurs on a weekly basis – getting hideously drunk and lapsing into that degenerate with a conveniently loose memory. 

The morning after is a solemn and familiar waltz of pain and regret. Yet, whilst in the midst of wallowing in self-pity and loathing, a lightbulb will flicker, the stomach flutters, food is calling – as carnal as the urges you clumsily displayed whilst propositioning anything with a pulse last night.

A hearty breakfast is just the ticket. The great healer, mender of hangovers, easier of horrid memories.

And none of this fancy shit. You can hold the decorative flowers, smashed avocado, parsley and granola rainbow superfood bowl. What’s required is a blizzard of full-blown, cholesterol cranking, unashamedly meaty, voluminous junk that’s served in a dark corner, bookmarked by more booze, served in big glasses with no questions asked.

The Fifth Province caters for such moments. Their Galway Full Irish Breakfast goes straight more for the jugular. Clonakilty black & white pudding, Cumberland sausage, grilled rashers of bacon, grilled tomato, fried potatoes, sautéed button mushrooms, fried eggs and baked beans with sourdough toast and a fresh slice of Irish soda bread.

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