I recently had the pleasure of having brunch at Montreal’s Café Melbourne. Inspired by Melbourne’s café culture and owned and operated by Australians Angus Castran and Xavier Martinelli, this cute Mile End spot has been open and on my map of Montreal’s best independent cafés for a couple of years now. They have recently partnered up with chef Saad Fouad Bahbahani to serve an Australian-inspired weekend brunch that’s honestly one of the best in town right now. This endeavour started out as a “pop up” event for chef Bahbahani but has since become a seamingly permanent gig considering how successful these brunches now are.
The small café was packed on the Saturday morning I visited. The first order of the day was coffee, of course! We ordered a flat white and a cereal latte, a latte made with milk infused with Lucky Charms cereal and topped with a handful of the colourful breakfast morsels. Fun! The six items on the menu are all named after Australian celebrities or criminals. We ordered an Elle MacPherson, an Alphonse Gangitano, an Andrew Veniamin and a Roberta Williams. My favourite was the Elle McPherson, a riff on the avocado toast with 3 slices of sourdough bread smothered in smashes , ripe avocado and topped with dukkah (a Middle-Eastern spice and nut mix), a soft boiled egg, grilled halloumi cheese and roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine. Absolutely delicious! The Alphonse Gangitano, a meatball and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich with herb aioli, creamy mashed potatoes and marinara sauce topped with a fried egg was also delicious. The Roberta Williams is Café Melbourne’s make on the smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit, granola and nuts. The Andrew Veniamin is an espresso and ricotta hotcake topped with caramel mascarpone, fresh fruit and nuts. The hotcake was fluffy, slightly sweet and the mascarpone deliciously creamy and rich.
The brunch portions at Melbourne are very generous and everything we tasted was fresh, creative and delectable. There was a display of what looked like exquisite desserts on the front counter that I didn’t have a chance to try and that I’ll definitely go back for. Four of the menu items change on a weekly basis, while the Elle McPherson and the Nicole Kidman (smoked salmon on a poppy seed bagel with gochujang cream cheese, yuzu tahini, watercress, edamame and a soft boiled egg) retain their spot as two of the most beloved dishes. Note to self: must go back for the Nicole Kidman!
Seriously though, if you love brunch as much as I do, pay a visit to Café Melbourne next weekend; you won’t be disappointed!
4615 Boulevard St Laurent
Monday 9am – 5pm / Tuesday to Friday: 8am – 5pm / Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays, 10am until they run out of food.