Lil’ Boy Blue Kitchen & BarOctober 22, 2012
Instead, I tend to sit on reviews for a little while and ruminate, rather than writing them up the morning after. I also tend to avoid super hyped up places when they open with some enormous dazzling launch party and a corresponding social media orgasm – this rarely shows the true character of a place, what the food is like after two, three months, or how the service holds up when the buzz wears off. I would go so far as to say that an over-hyped restaurant is a turn-off for me.
I also tend to avoid low-key cafes that have recently opened for a similar reason – I think they deserve a settling in period, and a review of their first weekend of service isn’t necessarily indicative of their potential. This post is an excellent example of this idea – Alex and I first visited Lil’ Boy Blue roughly one week after they opened.
The cafe was moderately full, and the staff were friendly but inattentive. We sat for a while with dirty dishes belonging to the people before us still on the table, until a waiter came and asked “and would you like anything else?” Case in point – service within first two weeks leaves something to be desired – but these are teething problems.
Apart from that small glitch at the beginning and an overheated coffee, I couldn’t really fault the rest of our meal – despite seeming a tad frantic, the staff were very friendly, and the menu is ballsy and interesting.
Allpress coffees are made nice and strong. I especially liked the latte cups they use (not pictured) – opaque and ceramic in the shape of a disposable plastic cup.
Alex thoroughly enjoyed a brioche bun stuffed with pulled pork shoulder, mustard pickles, truffle pecorino and wilted spinach. It’s quite a mild tasting dish, though still pretty badass for before 12pm – flavoursome and meaty and chewy, with the addition of lots of spinach luring you into thinking it’s healthy. Said Alex, “really, really, really, really good. We’re coming back”. Well, ok then!
I equally enjoyed my dish of poached and crumbed eggs with roasted mushrooms, soldiers, salsa verde, pickled capsicum and goats curd. An egg-cellent (apologies) vegetarian option, well presented, I admired how the yolks were still beautifully runny after being cooked twice, contrasting with the crispy eggs-terior (please forgive me). The mushrooms married very well with the goats curd and pesto (one of my favourite sandwich combinations I make at home). However, I thought the capsicum added colour but not much by way of flavour.
That was our first eggs-perience (please help me, it’s a disease!) of Lil’ Boy Blue. We returned last weekend, almost two months later, to find the place absolutely brimming with people, with lattes and dishes of food eggs-pertly (ok I’ll stop) flying about the room. The service was faultless the second time, as I predicted, and the food was equally good.
On our first visit I was tempted by the inclusion of ‘rhubarb’ in their toasted muesli with honey and a pot of milk. As I discovered on our second visit, it was a delicious take on a breakfast staple, goodies and gems included dried fig, banana, pistachios, little cubes of papaya plus some semi-dried grapes.
Alex again picked a stellar dish – soft tacos with eggs, Serrano de Trevelez ham (goddamn that is goood ham), chilli tomato relish and goats feta. It was bloody brilliant, and I will be hard-pressed not to order it the next time we visit! Expertly wrapped up and snuggly in its Lil’ Boy Blue paper, the cheese added a pleasant saltiness to the dish and the eggs were perfectly cooked and runny. Awesome.
As I said earlier, don’t judge a cafe by its performance during (or reviews of) the first couple of weeks of service – such inquiries usually lead to misleading conclusions. I’d suggest, in general, waiting a bit for things to settle down and the media-gasm to disperse. Fortunately for you, Lil’ Boy Blue is now in that happy space of cheerful operation and consistently delicious food – well worth a trip, if only for those tacos! Oh yes, and they’re also open for dinner (menu looks yummy), and their website plays Rum and Cola by the Andrews Sisters – need I say more?
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