263 Coventry Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
+61 3 9690 6752
Marty and his mates love to use the word ‘egg’ to describe someone who is either 1) useless, 2) idiotic, or both. I was under the impression that it was a Gold Coast term but according to my Kiwi workmate, it supposedly originated from the other side of the Tasman (‘Just watch bro’Town, if you don’t believe me’). The folks at South Melbourne’s Café Sweethearts also love to throw the word ‘egg’ around, but they don’t use it in the same way as those chumps. Rather, they are referring to the word egg in the traditional sense, the stuff that humans have been eating for yonks. In fact, they love eggs so much that they’ve dedicated two menu pages to the once-humble foodstuff.
Jen and I don’t have much of a tolerance for idiots, but we both love our eggs. Scrambled, boiled, fried or poached, we take our eggs any way (mostly poached, though). We arrived at Café Sweethearts during a Sunday lunch peak a few weekends ago and thought that we wouldn’t get a table. Initially, I regretted my decision not to ring ahead to book (apparently they let you book tables for breakfast too) but we later learnt that the turnover rate here is high so we were seated in a matter of minutes.
We started off with some lattes ($3.50). Although they tasted fantastic, they were somewhat thin and not particularly cream-y. Did they use skim milk? Probably. Did I care? A little bit, but they were nevertheless sweet and flavoursome so I called it even.
Jen went for the eggs benedict ($14), plus a hash brown on the side (an extra $3.50). Jen couldn’t find fault in her textbook-perfect benedict, saying that everything was ‘delicious.’ And even though we had both expected her hash brown to be flat (as in, looking like the ones served at McDonalds), we were both delighted at how good it nevertheless tasted. It was probably a bit sweeter than what I would have liked, but it was a lovely Moorish-tasting potato parcel with hints of spice.
Meanwhile, I had the grilled herbed polenta ($12.50), which was advertised on the menu as also having two poached eggs, zucchini, tomato, salsa and fresh parmesan. I’m not a fan of zucchini so I ended up swapping them for mushrooms instead. I thought Jen’s egg benedict was great, but mine was super-dooper awesome.
I love polenta but have never had it for breakfast so this dish was an eye-opener. I just loved the way the gooey egg yolk trickled down the grilled polenta square and the way it beautifully mixed in with the other ingredients. The combination of gooey egg and creamy polenta was just as delicious as the egg and earthy mushroom combination, with bits of fresh tomato accentuating each bite. So, so, soooo going to try and make this at home.
The service was friendly and efficient, despite a busy Sunday brunch session and if you have kids (or are a kid at heart), there are crayons and puzzles to keep them entertained. If you love your eggs, you’d have to be, well, an egg not to give Café Sweethearts a go.