Melbourne breakfasts are some of the best in the world. Why? Well, believe it or not, it is a subject I have given considerable thought to as we work our way around the world indulging ourselves in great food, and I have three reasons: variety, originality and freshness.
There is some serious thought and effort that goes into breakfast menus in Melbourne. Fusion, which is a food description I don’t use often, is a big part of what makes breakfast so good. Using that multicultural influence from all over the world, Melbourne has taken some classic global breakfast (or “brekkie” as Australians like to shorten it to) favorites and made it their own.
Looking for a good bagna couda sauce with brekkie? Try Proud Mary’s in Collingwood. How about a great potato rosti with poached eggs and salmon? (Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder) A twist on baked eggs? How about baked eggs with sweet and sour roasted peppers and black pudding? (Demitri’s Feast, Swan St, Richmond) What about grilled kippers with horseradish butter, poached eggs and leafy greens? (Birdman Eating, Fitzroy) You get the picture!
And it’s not just Australians that think this about Melbourne breakfasts. Check out this article from the New York Times about how Australian cafes are making an impact in New York.
Well one of our favorites, and a classic Australian brekkie is avocado smash with poached eggs. It is pretty common on the menus of Aussie cafes. When we were in London we were wandering by a cafe, looking for a good coffee, on the way to the Tube and we passed a cafe with a chalkboard outside advertising avocado smash! We were there! Sure enough it was owned by an Australian, the coffee was great too. And we had to laugh as there were a lot of Aussie expats in there too! They even served the Australian breakfast classic, vegemite on toast. (We’ll come back to vegemite in a minute.)
We recommend trying the goat’s toast (goat’s curd, roasted beetroot relish, avocado smash, a poached egg and green herbs on seeded toast) and if that’s not enough you can order an optional side of bacon. This is available at the Farm Cafe at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. It is an excellent version of avocado smash to try during your Melbourne visit.
Before we move onto our version of avocado smash, let’s talk about vegemite. You may have heard of it in “Land Down Under” by Men at Work, you know the line “give me a vegemite sandwich”. Vegemite is a spread used on bread or toast. It is a very dark brown/black color, salty, savory in taste and made from the brewer’s yeast remaining after the making of beer (very high in B Vitamins). Sound good?
Australian’s love it, most visitors hate it (but I know at least one American that absolutely loves it now)! Some tips, if you try it, use it sparingly. Butter the bread first and let that melt, then thinly and sparingly spread the vegemite. You can order it with melted cheese as well and this helps “soften” the taste for first timers! Try it, you might like it! Anyway, Australia has a ton of other breakfast options if it is not to your liking.
So back to avocado smash. We love this breakfast and it is a staple in our house, even when we travel. It is gluten-free, paleo friendly and overall pretty healthy. You can make your own version to suit your own taste. Use our recipe to get you started, then experiment.