Bored of the same old cafe breakfast menus of toast, muesli, eggs and pancakes?
Never fear. At Twenty & Six you’re not likely to meet any smashed avocado on your plate. You can still order the breakfast classics but why would you when you can use the opportunity to explore the creative dishes being offered by this neighbourhood cafe?
The space is effectively just two rooms. For colder climes there’s the indoors room at the front with a wide communal table, window bench and a few small tables along the wall. Naked light bulbs dangle from the ceiling and sprout from the walls decorated by the humorous illustrations by Able and Game.
There are some gussied-up milk crates made of plywood which act as an interesting sculpture as well as holding the shared reading material.
For sunnier days there’s the outdoors ‘room’ in the form of a quiet, hidden courtyard out the back. The two rooms are spanned by the tiniest kitchen which is quite astounding considering the inventiveness of the menu.
The coffee comes from Collingwood’s Proud Mary but for a blustery rainy day I decided a Mork hot chocolate was more in order ($4.50). It was bitter in a good way, being made of cocoa powder, 100% cacao liquor and some unrefined coconut blossum sugar which lended the drink a deep molasses-y flavour without being overly sweet.
I’ve never been one to shy away from bold flavours at breakfast so I naturally gravitated to The Leroy – crispy fried king prawns, jalapeno cheese grits, kataifi and a slow poached egg ($16.90). Not only was this dish visually spectacular but it was an inspired combination of crunchy and creamy textures with a huge hit of umami from the migas (fried breadcrumbs with garlic and paprika) dusted liberally over the top. It is one of the most exciting breakfast dishes I’ve had in a long time.
When I eat breakfast solo I normally like to splash out on two courses and Aphrodite was calling my name. However, my appetite got the better of me so I’m going to have to return for the amazing-sounding poached quince and lemon curd brioche french toast, goats’ cheese ice cream, pistachios and freeze dried berries. The incredibly photogenic sweet treats by the coffee machine are courtesy of Matt Forbes.
Even if your morning tastebuds are more towards ‘two poached eggs on gluten free toast’ (as I overheard from one patron) I’m sure you’ll enjoy the friendly, warm atmosphere of Twenty & Six. But I really urge you to go out of the breakfast comfort zone – you’ll love it.
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