The menu at Holly Rayes is short and sweet, but everything sounds really delicious – if you’re anything like me and suffer from food envy indecision, you have your work cut out for you. But since we were eager to eat (and we’d driven all the way out there to satisfy my hungover cravings for a tasty breakfast after a big night prior), we made our minds up pretty quick, paid at the counter and then relaxed outside.
Before long our drink orders came out, with Jeremy’s banana smoothie ($7.50) featuring dates, cacao, chia seeds, cinnamon and almond milk (pictured on the right). It was thick and satisfying, with the date flavour providing sweetness without being cloying.
While the juice section of the menu was calling my name, I gave in to my inner child and chose the chocolate malt milkshake ($6.50). The serving wasn’t the largest but it was just enough (anymore and I would have been too full to eat!). The malt flavouring was so yummy, and the chocolate sung out in each sip. I love a great milkshake and this one really delivered – it actually tasted like chocolate, not fake chocolate syrup which so many cafes rely on.
For his breakfast, my boy chose what was easily one of the healthiest options on the menu – the AM salad ($18.00). Made of pearl barley, avocado, kale, coriander, almonds, sauerkraut, pepitas, soft boiled egg and a chilli lime vinaigrette.
I was excited to watch him cut into that egg – it wasn’t a runny yolk but it was definitely sunny and slightly gooey. This bowl was one of nourishment, and though there was no meat it was a filling and enjoyable meal. I particularly liked the different textures in the salad, especially those crunchy almonds and the creamy avocado.
When I’d woken up that morning feeling a little sorry for myself I’d been whinging to Jeremy that hollandaise was all I could think about. And while the benedict eggs with pulled pork and that magical buttery sauce sounded amazing, I only had eyes for the breakfast guacamole with black bean salsa and jalapeño cornbread ($18.00). I also opted for a side of the potato hash ($4.00) which was not accurately named at all, it was more of a potato bake.
The dish came out to the table and we couldn’t help but give a little chuckle – that vintage plate it was displayed on is the same set my parents have! I guess some things do come back in style.
I can never resist cornbread and this was actually one of the best I’ve ever tried. Soft, slightly sweet and the texture actually managed to stay together. I couldn’t taste the jalapeño flavour, but I didn’t miss it since the bread was so tasty. My guacamole was a simple one of avocado and onion, and really let the fruit shine – it was creamy, buttery and just lightly zingy from the added citrus.
I really liked the salsa – but I am a bit of a bean fiend. It had a really deep flavour, and the beans weren’t overcooked which is quite common. A really vibrant and punchy dish – one that shook me out of my post-booze funk for sure! The potato cake to be honest I was a little disappointed with, I had it in my head I’d be eating a crisp hash brown of some kind. And while the actual product was still tasty, it wasn’t what I’d psyched myself up for. But never mind, Jeremy was happy to scoop up the potato when I was distracted by my cornbread (sneaky fella).
If only we’d had room for dessert! But there’s always next time, and a trip back out to Holly Rayes is definitely on the cards. I love brunch. And I love a place that delivers a great brunch. This was just the thing I needed to bring some pep back into my step.