506 Swan St
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9428 7516
Let me introduce you to some friends of mine: perfectly poached eggs, magic mushrooms, ripe avocado, Alex Lloyd-amazing lattes and the illustrious Shirley, a regular dining companion. Lump these beauties into a small wooden table by the window on a sunny Tuesday morning in Richmond and there you have it… a fan-tabulous breakfast at Friends of Mine, yet another project by cafe-extraordinaire Jason Jones of Porgie + Mrs Jones, Snow Pony and Bright Young Things fame.
Situated on the corner of Swan and Stawell streets, Friends of Mine is a bit of a hike just for breakfast if you happen to be a city-worker. Sure, it’s smack-bang on the number 70 tram line and sure, it’s only a short walk from Burnley train station but unless you happened to be Kevin Bartlett on your way to the SEN studios or a GE employee, I can’t really see a reason why anyone would be willing to go out of their way just for breakfast.
Hopefully this post will change your mind.
Despite having been opened for a month and a bit, FOM is already a bit of a hit if the decent-sized breakfast crowd that was here on Tuesday and the positive reviews on food blogs are anything to go by. The location may slightly suck, but I guess the fact that Jason Jones is pretty up there in Melbourne’s cafe scene helped FOM’s cause. Oh, and the fact that the cafe was both homely yet cool and sophisticated at the same time. And the fact that the service was always friendly, even at 7:30 in the morning.
I loved the little trinkets and photographs that dotted the cafe’s brick walls, such as the wooden clogs in the previous photo. I would have taken more photos of all the random things they had hanging on the walls but I must have been too distracted by the neon sign illuminating the 7-11 store across the street. This photo, kindly stolen from Shirley’s iPhone, is the back of the menu which we both thought was ‘awwwww’-worthy. At the same time, though, the kid looks like he wants to give us the one finger salute, hah.
To start off our day, we both ordered lattes ($3.50, a strong for Shirley and a skinny for me). My latte was nothing short of amazing. It was velvety and sweet all the way down, with the slightest hint of bitterness.
Shirley’s eggs Benedict, done the Jason Jones way ($16.90), was a testament to the old adage that great things come in twos. Instead of the usual bacon, a slab of smoked ham hock terrine was sandwiched between the warm muffin half and perfectly poached eggs (which the menu referred to as a ‘googie’) which was then drizzled with a lovely hollandaise sauce and sprinkled lovingly with basil. I was initially skeptical when I saw what looked like slices of spam (and me no fan of spam) but after a tentative mouthful, I was hooked. I fell in love with the ham which had a texture similar to corned beef – pair it with the gooey eggs and you have a royal engagement that is as grand as William and Kate’s.
My smashed avocado also deserved an award ($16.90). The loveliest, smoothest avocado was, well, smashed Gary Hall Jnr-style, gently injected with a bit of lemon juice for a bit of an acid trip and mixed with wonderfully fragrant thyme buttered mushrooms and marinated feta. The mixture sat proudly on a sturdy podium in the form of a wholegrain toast slice (clearly they don’t do Wonder bread here), garnished with torn basil leaves. For an extra $2, you had the option of adding a poach egg on top which I SHOULD HAVE DONE but given how incredibly good this was, I can’t say that I was not satisfied. The perfect vegetarian breakfast and great for those who refuse to or cannot eat eggs. Paul Pfeiffer would be most pleased.
Eating at a place like this made me wish I was a GE employee (which a bold statement coming from myself if you happen to be a friend of mine). The food was amazing, the service so friendly and more importantly, just being there created a natural endorphin that made you happy and set you up for the rest of the day. I know I can’t see myself putting on a GE lanyard or replacing Tim or Andy on SEN to be able to come to FOM for breakfast on a regular basis. I do, however, see myself coming here on weekends, days off and sickies.