A few weeks back I had a great dinner with Jeremy at No 4 Blake Street where by night they demonstrate the art of fine dining with a degustation. We really enjoyed our night so we both have been talking about going back for brunch because the menu sounded good.
Finally this weekend gave us a free day which seems so rare for us lately! So we decided we’d head to the museum to check out the new Secrets of the Afterlife (Ancient Egypt) exhibition and grab brekky beforehand. A quick drive by past No 4 Blake Street showed us that it wasn’t completely full despite it being just before 10am so we parked and made our way inside.
At nighttime here the kitchen is hidden by a dramatic red curtain which adds to the mystery of the evening’s degustation courses. But by day it’s quite different with the curtain pulled back to reveal a bright, white and airy space that is bustling with movement. There are some fantastic smells going on in this place and in the centre of the restaurant is a baked goods display which is so incredibly inviting I find myself staring at it the whole time.
We sit down and look around with interest, both of us noting how different the look and feel is by day. I love that they are making the best of their space by offering two alternate universes on the food scale – and as long as it tastes good, then it seems like they’re on to a winning formula.
We each start off our breakfast with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice ($6.80) which comes to our table a pale orange shimmering glass of frothy goodness. While it’s a little on the expensive side, it tastes wonderful. So incredibly fresh and vibrant – I really enjoy it.
Drinking fresh squeezed juice always sends me straight back to being on holiday in Singapore. It’s something I can never get enough of. Something much too delicious and satisfying!
For his breakfast dish, Jeremy immediately beelines to the Keggery ($19). It’s a traditional English style breakfast which consists of house smoked cod, lightly curried rice, soft egg, fresh herbs and toast.
It’s something really different to what normal breakfast menus offer and we’re both pleased to see how great it looks when it comes out to our table. While I myself probably couldn’t eat curried rice for breakfast, he tucks in with great gusto. The cod is ever so smokey, the egg gooey as the yolk oozes out coating the ingredients it sits atop of. I steal a bite after giving in to my curiosity and I’m pleased to note that the flavours are really well balanced and each element is executed perfectly.
Sticking true to my rather ridiculous love of hollandaise sauce, I pick the Florentine ($17) dish. It comes out beautifully presented with a wooden board that has a couple slices of olive bread and a dish with silverbeet, baked eggs, béchamel and hollandaise. There’s a smattering of herbs on top to give it some nice colour. I have to admit, this was definite food porn at its best.
I wish I could find words eloquent enough to explain how amazing this tasted. The eggs inside were baked just to that right point where the yolk was liquid gold when pierced. The silverbeet was flavoursome and fresh, and it really worked well with the béchamel in particular.
The olive bread on the side has a slight drizzle of olive oil on top and is a great tool to mop up the eggy, saucy concoction that gathers in the bottom of the dish. Though I’m not the biggest olive fan, these ones were sweet and the bread is soft and spongey without being overly glutinous. I like it a lot!
On our way out we each decide to grab a take away baked good to enjoy on the way to the museum. Jeremy opts for a strawberry and maple muffin which is all gone before I can reach for my camera! But luckily I got a bite and am happy to report it was soft in the centre and crunchy on the edges like a good muffin should be. The use of the maple inside made it sweet without being overly sugary. Very delicious!
I choose something a little more decadent, the Passionfruit Meringue Pie. I definitely did not need anymore to eat after my breakfast so when I get to it later I am in absolute heaven. The passionfruit curd is tart and zingy; the pastry shell crisp and paper thin. I love the use of the soft meringue peaks on top which have been lightly browned on top to give it a slight textural offset. Even hours later I could still taste the sweet sourness of that passionfruit!
Our breakfast at No 4 Blake Street was not on the cheap side but I wouldn’t say it was overly expensive either. It was a great combination of ingredients, flavours and perfect execution. I’m so excited about this restaurant, I can only see it getting better and better. I am definitely a big fan after having two successful meals of calibre. Any place that mixes béchamel with hollandaise is chasing after my greedy food loving heart!