St Kilda Road may not be the most burgeoning gourmet scene in Melbourne – but it’s not that far from the restaurant and café mecca that is Toorak Road. So, armed with my Cheap Eats – I decided to check out the breakfast scene in – let’s face it – one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs.
My pick was Café Gaia – just a short stroll up Avoca Street from Toorak Road, it has a beautiful front alfresco area protected by some very effective plastic blinds. Lovingly enclosed by some rampant greenery – it is a really pleasant setting to get your morning started.
I ordered my regular three quarter flat white, and it took some time to come. But when it did – it was good. They use Daddy’s Girl Blend from Padre Coffee – a really excellent product.
Banana and Ricotta Hotcakes with butterscotch sauce, strawberries and spiced mascarpone
Of course, I had to order the pancakes. That’s one of the reasons why I chose Café Gaia. And these looked the real deal. Drenched in butterscotch sauce, topped with fresh strawberries and banana – the presentation was spectacular. Especially with that quenelle of spiced mascarpone – this dish looked and tasted a winner.
The pancakes themselves were lovely and moist, and had reassuringly large chunks of ricotta through them. If there was anything that let them down – they were a little heavy and dense. This meant that you were pretty full after eating about half of them.
A splendiferous way to start your day, Café Gaia was very pleasant and provided food to a good standard. There was a steady stream of traffic for coffee, including a lot of ladies in yoga pants and knee high boots (not at the same time!). As well as some lovely well brought up school girls ordering half serves of scrambled eggs and ordering lattés – so I figure it’s a bit of a local favourite. What can I say? …If it’s good enough for the well-heeled of Toorak, then who am I to argue.
The menu has plenty of variety – so it’s definitely worth checking out again. Try it if you’re in the area…