Last year I met some lovely new friends at an Exotic Persian and Middle Eastern cooking class at Spice Bazaar in Seddon (www.spicebazaar.com.au), whom I enjoyed cooking with and getting to know while eating our shared achievements. Since then I have been extremely fortunate to have Oz and Mez supporting my culinary adventures and their enthusiastic and positive comments about my blog.
When Oz suggested that I should be considering STREAT in Flemington for a catch-up and new breakfast destination, it was just a matter of when. After negotiating restricted public transport and new train routes on a national holiday, I arrived slightly late and harried but it was great to see my friends again and relax in STREAT’s warmth and ambience.
After a couple of weeks of selecting savoury dishes, I was in desperate need of something sweet although I did think very long and hard about the Beirut brekky with twice-cooked crispy sumac eggs, fatoush salad, labne and za’atar. After some deliberation, the description of the French toast with fresh peaches, bourbon salted caramel, cinnamon crème fraiche and pecan brittle was too powerful to resist.
Where do I start? I tackled the fresh White peaches first which were fresh and crunchy; its best to get the healthy stuff over and done with! The French toast was delicious with almost a bread-and-butter pudding type consistency that pulled apart easily. The cinnamon creme fraiche was light and fluffy with the spices permeating occasionally. Whilst I couldn’t detect any bourbon (which might be due to my finely honed Shiraz taste buds), the salted caramel was thick, sweet and delicious. And lucky last, the pièce de résistance was the pecan brittle. In my mind’s eye, I was worried that trying to shatter the praline with my knife and fork was going to send shards flying across the cafe, Pretty Woman style, but I managed to contain everything to my own plate. The soft pecan nuts and the hardened sugar was a lovely combination and perfect for mopping up left-over fraiche and caramel sauce.
Every dish that I saw being served at STREAT looked spectacular and stylishly presented. The hash brown on Oz’s “The Hunter” breakfast (poached eggs, bacon, mushrooms, carluccio sausage, hash brown and tomato relish on sourdough) looked stunning and I secretly wished that I could make something like that.
STREAT is a social enterprise that seeks to provide homeless youth with a supported pathway to long-term careers in the hospitality industry. They run street cafes in Melbourne where youth get their hospitality training.
I’m looking forward to the next culinary adventure with Oz and Mez with a Barefoot Bowls night and BBQ co-hosted by the Flemington-Kensington Bowls Club & STREAT Cafe on February 21. Check out respective websites for more details.