NOT: Cavallero, 300 Smith St, Collingwood

Cavallero Smith Street Collingwood

As regular readers will know, I’m a going-out-for-breakfast skeptic. I toast my own granola, soak my own bircher, bake my own bread and flip some pretty awesome pancakes (the trick is to separate the eggs). I get the weekend papers delivered to my doorstep and I have a large sunny balcony in which to read them.

I admit that my early-morning cooking exploits and fortunate living arrangements make me a minority, but it means that on the rare occasions that I do go out for breakfast, I expect something beyond what I could rustle up from my store cupboard ingredients.

Sadly, Cavallero did not deliver.  I was so disappointed – its wrought iron entrance, airy warehouse ceiling, funky moose-head on the wall, 50s diner booths and constant bustle of cool locals had me itching to try the venue ever since I moved to the neighbourhood.

Cavallero Smith Street Collingwood

Nevertheless, at breakfast we’re talking a menu with zero innovation. Out of our table of four, three of us didn’t even order from the breakfast menu because there was nothing that caught our fancy (muesli, eggs, eggs, eggs and eggs). Instead, we opted for toasted sandwiches. Toasted sandwiches, people! The kind that any 5 year old can make with bread, ham and cheese (even if they may not use Istra ham and Heidi Farm gruyere).  I don’t need to be paying $8.50 for that. My eggplant kasundi sandwich didn’t even have toasted bread, and contained a fridge-cold filling. The fourth person of our party did succumb to the eggs (baked), which was quote ‘nothing special’.

Cavallero Smith Street Collingwood

Cavallero Smith Street Collingwood

The one redeeming part of the experience – the coffee was good…although they initially forgot the order.

I really wanted to like Cavallero but I can’t really recommend it over other, better breakfast options in the vicinity such as Gluttony It’s a Sin, Proud Mary and Birdman Eating. I like the space a lot and the lunch/dinner menu seems to offer more interesting choices, so I may give it another try just to be fair. But for the moment, my breakfast experience leaves it a NOT.

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11 thoughts on “NOT: Cavallero, 300 Smith St, Collingwood

  1. I have to agree that breakfast isn’t their strong point. It used to be much better but had always been slim for options. I rarely go unless I feel like an omlette which is great. As for the coffee, mediocre always for me, never terrible but never great. You must have got lucky there!
    go back for dinner! Then fish is great, new menu now but the pork neck is nice as well.

    • Hi Ben

      Once again I walked past Cavallero this morning and was astounded by the massive crowd inside. Now that I’ve had a taste of their breakfast offerings, I’m wondering who are the people that keep frequenting it when there are so many better options around?

      Perhaps I will go back for dinner, as they must be doing something right.

      Jetsetting Joyce

    • Hi Hookturns

      I do think that Birdman Eating has some more imaginative items on the menu compared to Cavallero – such as the black rice, coconut yoghurt and mango and coconut quinoa porridge with banana and palm sugar. My main gripe with Birdman Eating is that its enormous weekend queues means that I often get the hunger grumps by the time I finally get my breakfast. Hence I only tend to go in the early morning.

      I’ve never been to Min Lokal but will be sure to check it out; thanks for the tip. I’ve also heard Cibi is very good – have you been?

      Jetsetting Joyce

      • Interesting to see your thoughts on Cavallero – I like many others am not a fan (That Jess Ho recently did a post on her dislike of Cavallero and there were a huge number of comments from people who had terrible experiences). I had an awful breakfast there and have never been back.

        I agree with Hookturns, Min Lokal is very good (interesting baked eggs – think pumpkin & preserved lemon etc). Cibi has a pretty short menu but their Japanese breakfast is pretty special and nice if you want to feel a little virtuous as its pretty healthy. Probably not something you would rustle up at home either!

        My other local suggestion is Squirrel in Clifton Hill… happy breakfasting!

  2. I would have to agree with you on this one. My vegan girlfriend did like the porridge with caramelized nuts and poached fruit there, but I found it pretty unimaginative. When we went for dinner it was pretty much the same. A great place with some interesting breakfasts is Southpaw in Gertrude street! The scrambled tofu and the salmon eggs are both great dishes…

    • Hi Rane

      Consensus seems to be that dinner may be a better option at Cavallero, but there’s been no emphatic recommendations – so coupled with my breakfast experience I think I’m going to give Cavallero a miss from now on. Thanks for the tip about Southpaw too – I have no idea why it has passed me by, as it’s right in my neighbourhood. I love scrambled tofu as well, so will definitely try it.

      Jetsetting Joyce

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  4. The food was nice but diner was ruined by pretentious and pushy waiting staff.
    And when you’re trying to pay the bill (over $80 for two), you’re told “NO eftpos” and rudely sent to the 7 eleven to get cash out.
    Next time I’ll just walk out and never come back.

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