Moka Pot Cafe

March 13, 2011

315 Doncaster Road, Balwyn North

A few weeks ago, my skype date with E in Bristol and K in Wisconsin was interrupted by the realisation (courtesy of A) that I was late for breakfast (having planned it several days in advance). So I hurriedly said adieu to my accented friends and chuffed on down to the Moka Pot Cafe, a nearby cafe in the Greythorn shopping village on Doncaster Road. It’s a very friendly place, large and filled with natural light, and a good honest mix of patrons, young families, older couples, cycling groups coming in for a hearty breakfast after their ride, etc.

The menu was long, very long actually, and offered a good choice with a distinctly Mediterranean touch (the owner’s greek). Besides what we ordered, two other things caught my eye which I may try next time. Hellenic beans: eggs baked with spicy house made giant beans sprinkled with feta and sourdough (just like yiayia makes them!). And the avocado bruschetta also sounded good. I started out with a latte, which was very strong and good (although the froth was a little too thin for my liking). A had an Earl Grey which, upon first sip, he declared to be from T2. My initial amazement dropped when I learned he had seen the T2 tins over the counter behind me.

I ordered the Grecian eggs – scrambles eggs with feta cheese and herbs with pesto mushrooms on sourdough. I ordered it mainly out of cultural-heritage-pride, if I’m totally honest – eggs with feta cheese sounded just like home to me. However we cook it slightly differently in our family and at home they’re not so much scrambled as they are a broken-omlette. I came to this sad (and undeniably important) realisation just as my eggs appeared in front of me, which was quickly followed by the subsequent realisation that I don’t actually like scrambled eggs.

Well great. But I was the one who ordered the dish, knowing full well what the word “scrambled” meant, so I was going to eat them. And honestly, they weren’t too bad! Sure, scrambled eggs are by no means my favourite, but the silky smooth salty cubes of feta did it for me (although when I make it I always have more feta). My biggest issue with this dish wasn’t actually the eggs, but the untoasted sourdough. Ok, I understand that toast is an Anglo thing, and the other Europeans don’t traditionally eat it, but I really would have appreciated some crunch to the bread. Plus the mushrooms, while delicious, had no hint of pesto on them (?). So given that I don’t actually like scrambled eggs, this dish was quite nice, all things considered.

A went with the Spanish Omlette, served open with grilled chorizo, roasted capsicum, tomato, feta and basil pesto on sourdough (again not toasted). I really liked the bite that I had, but A thought the pesto and chorizo didn’t quite work together, and perhaps he was right (but hey, at least the eggs in his dish weren’t scrambled!). Overall not stunning, but a good meal that set us up well for the rest of the day. And I definitely want to come back to try those Hellenic Beans!

UPDATE: A few months later, I returned for breakfast. Here’s my take from 17/07/2011:

I ate here spontaneously a couple of weekends ago, alone (but not in a sad way) on a Saturday morning. The place was bustling, and I quite enjoyed sitting by myself and watching everyone else. Having driven here with the intention of buying a coffee to go, I had a “what the heck” moment and plonked myself down for some Tuscan Beans with a side of poached eggs.
The beans are proper house made giant baked beans, not out of a tin, and they come with crispy prosciutto, goats cheese and toast. I liked the addition of red capsicum and spinach, but thought there was too much potato, which at times overwhelmed the beans. And (as always) I would have liked more cheese.

It is quite a large plate of food, I certainly couldn’t finish it, so perhaps asking for additional eggs wasn’t the best idea. But I wanted some hardcore (but soft yolked) protein, and they came out perfectly poached. They also seem to have fixed their toast problem since I was last here (the difference now being that they actually toast it!).

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Filed under: Balwyn