The pressure is on. Where do I head to on Saturday morning for breakfast? I’ve been a bit complacent over the last few weeks as there have been so many new and wonderful cafes to visit in my local neighbourhood but now I need to get serious about getting out and about and visiting those cafes on my “must do” list. Flicking through the Melbourne Magazine, I see an article on the Birdman Rally held in 1989 and then I mentally recall to mind a cafe in Fitzroy called “Birdman Eating” that had been mentioned to me several months ago.
With a destination in mind, I negotiated a train and a tram to get to Gertrude Street and looked for the cafe. I’m always fearful that there won’t be a table or space for me when I arrive, but I was in luck and found a table inside. A beautiful, old building with stained glass windows, art deco lighting and dark wood panelling and mirrors along the walls, it was exactly where I wanted to be on a warm summer morning.
Eagerly anticipating the breakfast menu, my finely honed radar sense zeroed in on French toast offering on the menu, but then my eyes skipped to the ricotta hotcakes, which is a dish close to my heart and is not always readily available on most cafe menus. The description of the dish was so unique – I’ve seen meat cooked using the confit method but the idea of possibly applying the same process to fruit was mind boggling.
The first mouthful was of the peanut butter ice-cream mixture on top of the hotcakes and it blew my mind away. Soft and creamy with a distinct but not over-powering peanut butter flavour. The hard part was trying to eat it before it rapidly melted away.
The confit banana still maintained its form, slightly mushy on the outside but firm enough to cut with a knife. The ricotta hotcakes were nice and hot, but not exactly memorable. I couldn’t detect any ricotta in the mixture and felt like I was eating a very crispy pancake but it adequately soaked up the maple syrup, melted ice-cream and banana.
I always save the hard bit to last! The pecan praline was a complete surprise and was a fairly thick shard of toffee but not too hard to break apart into edible bite-size pieces.
The best thing about this dish, and which isn’t really identifiable in the photo because I’ve zoomed in, is that it is not a substantially large dish that prevents you from eating again at lunch time. Bon appetite!