Three Bags Full

March 9, 2012

60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford
Finally, finally, after over a year of wanting to go and several attempts (ruined by crazy queues), A and I had brunch at Three Bags Full, the Abbotsford cafe that is monstrously popular and always busy. We went on a Saturday around 10am, and through some small miracle managed to get a table with only a ten minute wait!

Inside is the epitome of Melbourne cafe architecture and design: industrial chic done to perfection. The space is lovely, very light and surprisingly large (but rather noisy!). Hip staff flit around between tables as young couples sip lattes and read the weekend’s paper.

See obligatory naked light bulbs above the tables on the left.

It all seemed too good to be true: a sunny morning, only a 10 minute wait at one of Melbourne’s most popular brunch spots…but here’s the catch.

“Natalie?” called the waitress.

And then she led us out the door, away from all the external tables and into the next shop front! It seems Three Bags Full has gotten so popular they’ve bought out whichever poor bastard previously had the space next door and have created a smaller replica of their larger room. I wasn’t particularly pleased initially, especially since we were so tightly packed and it seemed like a bit of a rip off from the real thing, but you know what? It didn’t matter in the end. The food was awesome, the people next to us were friendly, and we came here knowing it was popular and busy. Plus the whole place smells deliciously of lemon and butter.

(There are also obligatory naked light bulbs in this room)

Good grief they pull a good coffee here. My double ristretto flat white was nutty and had a brilliant aroma.

Here is A’s hot chocolate, and his continued performance as my hand model.

Further obligatory naked light bulbs… So many naked light bulbs.

The menu is large and appetising – I foresee many return visits so I can try out everything that I like the look of! There are about a gazillion variations of eggs on toast, and every type of sweet breakfast dish you can possibly think of. I was tempted by the poached eggs with mushed peas, tomato vinaigrette and feta, just because it sounded so innovative. And as far as sweets go, how about sticky black ginger bread with vanilla bean mascarpone, candied cumquats and pistachio?

I did also see a dish of beetroot cured salmon, with a corn, pea and feta fritter, served with rocket and dill sour cream, which is almost identical to a dish from Friends of Mine (I wonder who was first…)

“You’re gonna get the avocado, aren’t you? I can see it in your eyes”, says A, mocking me. Well I’ll show him! I’ll show them all!! (said in manner of Dylan Moran in Black Books). In the end (not wholly out of spite) I ordered the roast field mushies, garlic, rosemary, goats cheese, dukkah and an egg. Three words: garlic, rosemary and dukkah. Gold.

A had the special, Eggs from Hell (!!), with hollandaise, peppers, chorizo and spinach. As the waitress placed it on the table one egg rolled off the stack, but A promptly popped it back on for the photo (that’s why the sauce is sort of everywhere on the plate).

So how good was it?

This good, clearly. I was skeptical of the combination but it actually worked really well.

Once I get an idea in my head, I’m pretty much unswayable, certainly when it comes to food. Furthermore, deny me said food item, and I. Will. Break. You.

During the meal I kept on glancing at the cake display behind me, and so it was that after our plates were cleared we ordered a cheeky brunch dessert.

A had the chocolate cheesecake brownie, which is so good it will literally change your life. Try it.

I had a brilliant carrot cake – the icing was the perfect combination of sweet and sour, and so so soft. The cake itself was sticky and flavoursome.

While the service was friendly, and while I understand that they were very busy, it was kind of difficult to get their attention. But all in all it was a great brunch experience and worth the wait – especially for that sinful brownie!

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Abbotsford, Brunch, Coffee