16 March, 2008

CERES cafe

Cnr Robert and Stewart Sts, Brunswick East; 03 9380 8861

It's hot. Very hot. It's also March, not January. Cars are going round and round in Albert Park, a week ago the leaves in the same park were starting to turn yellow in preparation for autumn, and yet here we are, venturing out into the heat to at least nurture our bodies with good food, seeing as we can't keep them cool at home.

CERES is close, so minimises the amount of exertion needs to get there. Sure, it's not air conditioned, but that wouldn't fit with the ethos of the place, whose menu offers organic, garden-grown options wherever possible.

After hanging out with that rogue penguin at Lambsgo Bar last night, a carefully-made, restorative, organic fair trade coffee is definitely in order.

For food, SG chooses the baguette of the day: kangaroo with rocket, goats cheese and tomato relish.The crusty bread clamps on thinly sliced fillet, the tender meat pieces contrasting against the nuts and seeds in the bread.

I faced a tough choice between Verity's famed baked eggs, organic housebaked beans with sourdough, or French toast. I went with the last of these, served with organic maple syrup and a choice of free-range bacon or fruit compote. I chose the latter, which on this occasion was blueberries.It was a wonderful choice. The thick brioche was giving rather than crusty, which also made it much more able to absorb the wonderful syrup. Rather than a sickly sweet pour of liquid sugar, this syrup was more viscose, like a thin honey, and added chewy, almost nutty notes rather than just sweetness. The berries were a great complement, balancing the dish, so that while satisfying it wasn't too filling.


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