131 Bourke Street
Ph: 03 9639 1296
As mum and I sat on the tram on the way to check in at Citadines hotel, I was reading a post on Tomato describing a pretty poor experience at a new restaurant named Heirloom. As I walked into the foyer of the hotel and saw the glossy, slick new dining space to my left, realising I was staying above the aforementioned restaurant, I was excited to try out this place and see how my experience compared to Ed’s.
We were already set for dinner and lunch plans on our first day, so we decided Sunday breakfast would be the time of our visit – although we did have two very good takeaway coffees from the bar on Saturday night as we retired to our room. This is a restaurant that describes its food as “Japanese influenced modern French”, drumming up, in some people’s minds, the word “fusion” and all the negative connotations than come with that. The breakfast menu is divided into “East” and “West” sections, where diners after a traditional continental breakfast or some avocado toast are catered for, but those who want to see the chef’s interpretation of the two cultures have choices like an enoki and shitake omelette, or bamboo basket steamed eggs.
Aesthetically speaking, the space is extremely appealing. Strong blacks, reds and browns feature predominately, complemented by sexy lighting features. There’s a mix of freshly painted surrounds and comfy leather furniture, contrasted with big concrete slabs of wall and a warehouse feel when you look to the roof. It’s the kind of place that caters for any occasion; there’s the main dining area with tables for two or four, or you might choose a lazy breakfast at the communal table, a seat at the sake bar, or a quiet drink tucked away in the corner on one of the lounges.
Atlantic eggs with sugar cured salmon ($16.00)
Eggs Atlantic gets a twist with sugar cured, rather than smoked, salmon; a small change that makes all the difference. The sweet, delicate tasting fish is topped with a perfectly poached egg and excellent creamy hollandaise. It’s a classic breakfast dish that ticks all the boxes and is made extra special with that slight tweak.
Panko crumbed free range eggs and asparagus; smoked almond, preserved lemon and burnt butter ($16.00)
One of the best, most unique and interesting breakfasts I have had in a long time. A dish that left me thinking about the perfect matching of flavours and textures long after we left. Crispy, crunchy balls of egg sit atop fresh asparagus and the kind of sauce that has you fighting back the urge to lick the plate clean. It’s a rich, smokey, citrusy combination of flavours and a meal with plenty of texture to keep you interested, with the crunch of the egg, the crisp bite of the almonds and the soft asparagus. An absolute winner.
Service was a little clunky, but we suspected that some of the staff were new and that the whole operation is still finding its feet. I’ll be interested to come back for dinner; there’s plenty of comments being made out there that the whole Japanese-French fusion thing they’ve got going isn’t really working. When it comes to breakfast, I think the influence of different cultures is working very well.
Stay tuned for the final part of our girl’s weekend: an afternoon in Thornbury.