Weekends this year have been a complete change of pace for me. Normally they’re an opportunity for me to spend some time with my boy, exploring this great city and the food on offer. However since starting work for St John’s, Jeremy’s weekends are occupied working and I’ve been spending my days catching up with girlfriends, indulging in my flora love at the flower markets and taking my time in the kitchen – experimenting and perfecting dishes.
Since I’ve been battling a nasty chest infection my plans last weekend to catch up with my friends Carlie and Sherilyn were postponed to this Saturday. It ended up being for the best – with last week’s torrential rain giving way to a lovely sunny day. Just the kind of weather you want when you’re heading to Harvest Espresso in Victoria Park.
Sherilyn was the first of us to arrive for our breakfast date, putting her name down for a table of three. I arrive to see her standing out front sipping on a coffee in one of Harvest’s gorgeous takeaway cups. Before long Carlie arrives too and we’re shown to our table inside after a five minute wait. For such a small venue, it’s great how fast tables turn over so you’re never waiting long.
We place our orders at the counter, with our drinks coming to the table quickly. After seeing pictures of the matcha latte ($5.00) on instagram, I knew I had to try it. It’s lovely and hot, with the pure green tea powder lending itself really nicely to the frothy milk. It’s a delicious beverage to have in winter – especially for a non-coffee drinker like me.
Carlie’s skinny latte ($4.00) looks perfect – right down to the latte art on top. While I’m not a big fan of hot beverages in handleless glasses, these ones actually don’t get too hot – unlike other places where you burn your fingers!
Choosing food at Harvest Espresso is no simple task. It takes us all a little bit of time but when the food comes there’s no regret at all in our choices!
Carlie’s picked the pulled pork toasted ciabatta sandwich ($13.50) which comes with cabbage, carrot and celery slaw, mustard, gherkin and dill. There’s also a little side salad of greens to accompany the generous sized sandwich.
Sherilyn orders the lamb meatballs ($22.50) which come in a beautiful tomatoey sauce with cumin yoghurt. There’s a couscous salad on the side and thick slices of turkish bread – perfect for mopping up those sauces with.
I have to admit I have a pang of order envy seeing how hearty and wintery the dish looks. Sheri tells me it’s amazing. Definitely have to mark this one on the wish list for next time I come here.
While I’m completely enamoured by the sounds of the banana and peanut butter toasted brioche, I’m just not a sweets for breakfast kind of person. And I just can’t get past the sound of the house-cured salmon gravlax ($22.50) which comes sitting on top of potato hash with two poached eggs, watercress, yuzu kosho hollandaise and togarashi croutons.
It’s a dish that reminds me of the summer menu at Harvest where I had the most delicious salmon and crepes breakfast that I still think about!
The potato hash is delicious – crunchy and not too heavy like potato can be sometimes. The salmon is unctuously rich, yielding to my fork with ease. Hollandaise for me is such a breakfast treat – it makes any meal better (yes it’s my love of butter talking right now!) so this is right at home for me. And of course, there’s those perfectly poached eggs…
Every time I come back to Harvest Espresso I am more and more impressed. It’s easy to see why this place has developed itself a cult following of loyal diners. They’re inventive with their flavours, and have a menu that showcases seasonal produce which means that you get to try the best of what’s available.
What a perfect winter’s breakfast!