The lead up to Christmas is always a chaotic time for my friends and I. There’s always so many events to attend, presents to buy and things to do. But one tradition my best friend Carly and I try to uphold is breakfast on Christmas Eve. This year choosing the destination was my turn so knowing I needed to head to work still that day I looked for something near to where I live – quickly deciding on new coastal eating spot, Tropico.
I adore going out for breakfast and love discovering new places to dine at. There’s something about a wonderfully poached egg (or slow cooked egg) that gets me all giddy inside like a child. I’d heard some pretty rave reviews about Tropico and arriving just as doors opened at 7am we were the second people to walk inside. It didn’t take long for the place to start getting busier with locals and people on holiday trickling in for breakfast.
While Carly and I are too busy chatting to order straight away, we do get our drinks underway so we can kickstart our morning catch up. She chooses a long black coffee ($4.40) and I opt for a cold pressed juice – ‘strawberry fields’ ($7.50). I love my juice and this one was so delicious and sweet, made of strawberries, pineapple and royal gala apple. It was icy, refreshing and cutely presented – sans the paper straw that everyone seems to be using these days that look so pretty but aren’t the most practical invention.
Choosing what to eat is a little more difficult at Tropico. The menu is quite simple, with a decent range and everything sounding tasty and quite healthy – something I would expect from a seaside (or close enough) venue. I stare at a couple of the options, including the buttermilk pancakes with pecan butter cream, pure canadian maple and crispy streaky bacon… insert drool face here. But in the end I know that while I definitely have a sweet tooth, I am a savoury girl when it comes to breakfast.
Carly’s quick to decide, opting for the zucchini fritter with smoked salmon, poached egg, lime and avocado and chives ($18.00). After enquiring with them if it’s a gluten free dish they advise it’s not so she swaps out the zucchini fritter for some gluten free toast. It’s a completely different dish but still has all the makings of a tasty breakfast!
My breakfast dish of choice is the wood grilled mushrooms with basil pesto, poached eggs and artisan sourdough ($17.00). I’m such a big fan of mushrooms – their versatility and the way they can be indulgent as well as healthy. One of the girls I work with has tried this dish and told me it is amazing, so I was very happy with my decision.
When it came out to the table I could smell the buttery goodness of those earthy mushrooms. There’s a pool of butter underneath them which I would have rather not had there, but it’s easy to work around it. I like the nice touch of salsa on top though due to my capsicum intolerance I can’t try it, instead have to scrape it out of the way.
The mushrooms are firm and perfectly cooked, the basil pesto so punchy and full of flavour – I love a great pesto and this one was spot on! Cutting into my poached eggs (from Margaret River Egg Co) I’m so pleased when they booth ooze out a satisfyingly slow river of vivid yolk. 2014 might have been all about that bass music wise but for me it’s been all about that yolk porn. It’s the perfect thing to start the day!
The sourdough bread which comes from Abhis Organic Bakery has been grilled nicely, with lovely char marks. I do think it’s a bit disappointing that the bread came out plain but we both ask for butter and a nice serving is quickly brought out to us. It’s cold but we both have the same plan of putting a slab between our toast slices and soon enough it’s ready to spread.
I gobbled up this dish pretty quickly and felt completely full way past lunchtime as a result. It was such a yummy way to commence Christmas Eve with my best friend, and while the food, drinks and setting were lovely enough it does please me even more to note that all of Tropico’s products are sustainably sourced with conscientious farming practices in mind.
When we left I also grabbed a couple of takeaway treats to share with the girls at work (which I forgot to do so the boy benefited when I got home at lunch). I chose a jam doughnut and a couple of melting moments (one normal, one what I think was red velvet). I’m a sucker for jam doughnuts and often think it’s quite difficult to find a really great one. Tropico’s was tasty, the doughnut slightly savoury though working with the sugar on the outside. There wasn’t quite enough jam inside for my liking as I like mine quite generous in that respect but the flavours were good. The melting moments were delicious!
On the weekend following New Year’s Eve, my other best friend Vee and I found ourselves in need of a breakfast fix before we set about for a day at the beach. After a bit of brainstorming and tossing up between a couple options she was keen to try, we decided on Tropico. I was all too happy to return after enjoying my first visit so much.
Visiting on a weekend meant that we had to battle the crowds, but despite the fact that there were groups of diners waiting for tables, we still were seated within 10 minutes. We took the wait as an opportunity to pick our dishes to order since we were both starving!
Since I enjoyed the strawberry fields juice so much last time, I’m quick to decide on this one again. Vee chooses a mango, passionfruit and raspberry smoothie ($8.50). It’s thick and refreshingly tropical – I love the dollop of raspberry on top too!
We both choose the sweet and salty granola with pineapple and vanilla, coconut pannacotta and pineapple shake ($15.50). I’m currently a little obsessed with granola so I love trying different versions on offer at breakfast venues.
It’s light and fresh, with crunches from the oats and nuts throughout; the pineapple offering a summery twist on the dish. I’m always grateful for strawberries so I’m happy when I see them in the dish too! The pineapple shake is fun – part milk for the granola, part drink.
It’s a deceptively filling dish and when we finish we’re both feeling full and happy. Another great visit to Tropico under my belt! And since it was quietening down, we actually managed to kick back and relax a bit before getting on with our day.
It’s great to see another brunch spot pop up somewhere near me, especially since I’m always saying I need a local place to go to when I’m feeling lazy to cook but want something tasty. Tropico is definitely going to be top of mind from now on!