First of all, happy (now belated) 20th birthday to one of the closest high school friend I have in Melbourne, Minn! I hope you enjoyed your day out yesterday!
Of course it was a must for me to bring her out for brunch/lunch, and I picked Friends of Mine since it was also on Minn's list of cafés to try out.
Friends of Mine
506 Swan St, Richmond VIC
Mon - Fri, 8am - 4pm, Sat - Sun, 8.30am - 4pm
[ tram 70, stop 15 (Stawell St/Swan St), or train to Burnley ]
The place wasn't very hard to find from the train station. It was about a 5 minute walk on the same side of the road on Swan St. You won't miss it; it's right next to the netball/basketball court, and it's probably the only café around amongst the warehouses.
There was a huge crowd inside; at least 8 groups of people waiting to be seated inside since it was a relatively chilly morning. We got a table in about 15 minutes, so no harm and no fowl. The hostess was really friendly, and really helpful as well.
Marzocco, again. This time a yellow one.
I do wonder whether it was meant to match the yellow roses placed on all the tables. How fitting, since yellow roses are meant to represent friendship.
When we walked into the dining area, it felt as if we've stepped into one of the classier restaurants along Lygon. You wouldn't think that you're in a café at all, from the decor and from the ambience.
And despite the fact that it was packed to the brim, we had plenty of space between tables. Not once did we hear conversations from neighbouring tables, nor did we have other patrons banging into our chairs or tables while walking by.
Soy latté, $3.80 (I think).
The coffee was alright. I didn't really pay attention to the coffee that day though, so I'll get Jason to do that when we go back there.
Berry 'noice' banana smoothie: berry compote, banana and vanilla ice cream, $7.90.
Minn's drink, since she doesn't like coffee (it's okay, don't attack her; she'll learn). It was really good. It wasn't overpoweringly sweet and the taste of the berries didn't seem artificial at all. And, very filling.
Pick. Me. Up. Please. - brioche roll, bacon, tomato chutney, scrambled egg and cheddar, $5.50.
I'd just roughly quote what Minn predicted I'd type about what she ordered since she was pretty spot on.
"Minn wasn't feeling too hungry since she ate long noodles (Chinese tradition that I never knew about, shame on me) so she ordered this. It was really, really small. But i guess with the smoothie, it filled her up nicely. Oh well."
But quotes aside, Minn did seem to enjoy her mini burger-like dish. Just based on that, she's more than willing to go all the way back there.
HUNGover: herb and melted cheese on toast, poached eggs, bacon, smashed avocado and eggplant kasundi, $19.90.
This (obviously, to some of you) is what Debra ordered after peeking at many, many tables. I tried out the cheese on the toast and that was just a sinful bite. Debra really liked it too, and she agreed with Minn with no hesitation that they'd come back.
A treat for those who love all that watery, gooey, yellowey, yolky goodness.
Toasted banana bread with maple syrup mascarpone, banana, berry compote and pistachio, $14.90
Just look at it. How could I not order it?!
The mascarpone, which was very light, didn't bog down the already relatively heavy banana bread and you can never go wrong with berries and banana. The pistachios gave a different depth of flavour to the berries and the mascarpone.
That's the only reaction I could give to the dish.
(if you haven't watch this video, you have to. here.)
I suppose the only qualm i had with the dish was that I can never be full with a sweet dish, so i was still hungry after. I'd imagine that it'll be ridiculous if they gave a bigger portion than that cause it'll definitely be too, what we Malaysians call, jelak (excessively satiated).
Toast with Vegemite (jam, or organic peanut butter), $6
Yea, I was hungry enough to order something else on top of that. The bread itself was good, you could tell by the softness that it was freshly baked.
The Vegemite itself, however, was just overpowering. I've forgotten how Vegemite was really salty, and i just slapped half the jar on the first piece of toast. Minn tried some and her reaction was just priceless.
Jou, if you're reading this, I know you're laughing. I know what you're thinking you sick sonovashit.
The bill came in these little cuties. Naw, I wish i could've taken one home. Would've made a great name card holder.
Overall, the three of us enjoyed lunch very much. Despite the wait for a table, the staff made us feel like we were more than just customers; the service was as excellent as the food was great (besides the Vegemite, but that's beyond the café control.).
read the next post for the rest of Minn's birthday!