Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

It’s the start of a three-day long weekend, the warmer weather continues and with the promise of clear blue skies, it’s a perfect day to explore new food destinations. I’ve decided to take the number 8 tram which runs past my street, and journeys through the city CBD and northwards towards Brunswick and explore an area that’s relatively new to me. Brunswick is a vibrant and eclectic mix of diverse ethnicities, cultures and foods to match.

I jumped off the tram at the corner of Lygon and Albert Streets and headed west towards Sydney Road. On the corner of Albert Street and Sydney Road, situated in an old bank building, is “Albert Street Food & Wine”. The latest venture by Philippa Sibley, primarily known for her reputation as a the Queen of Desserts, is also open for breakfast!

Walking into a well designed and aesthetically stunning room, the maitre d chose the best table in the restaurant for me (in the sunny corner by the door) and took my coffee and water order. The interior of the restaurant was stunning and my heart skipped a beat at the sight of the wine cellar and charcuterie cabinet in the middle of the restaurant.

Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick
Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

The breakfast menu was simple and refined with only several options to from, which from my point of view, made my choice of breakfast somewhat easier. Easier to take a risk and try something new.  I chose the “63 degree eggs, baby leeks, brioche crumbs and smoked salmon”.

Big risk! You might be aware that I don’t like runny egg yolk but I didn’t want to change the main attraction of the dish. There was a definitive “wow” factor when breakfast arrived at my table.

63 degree eggs, baby leeks, brioche crumbs, smoked salmon - Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick
63 degree eggs, baby leeks, brioche crumbs, smoked salmon – Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

When the photography duties were dispensed with, I started with the leek and brioche mixture. The brioche crumbs were relatively large and melted in your mouth with the sweetness of the leek and melted cheese mixture. The salmon was simple and delicious and a perfect foil for the leeks. To my mind, the leek and brioche were the heroes of the dish, but I was a little scared of eating the wobbly eggs. But eat I did … they tasted organic (trust me, I grew up on a healthy diet of free range eggs) but I couldn’t say definitively that I would be championing the 63 degree movement from this moment forward.

Now an observation about the service. When I first arrived, there were four different people attending to me within the space of ten minutes: the maitre d to escort me to the table and hand me the menu; one person to soundlessly deposit a glass of water; one person to take my breakfast order and the barista to personally deliver my coffee order, all with differing degrees of happiness and joy.

Breakfast service is from 8.00 am to 11.15 am. At 11.00 am, one member of the morning service staff was advising various tables, although surprisingly not mine, and reminding the clientele that the table was required for lunch service at midday. Sitting at my table in the corner and eager to order another coffee, I was thoroughly ignored while there was a flurry of activity to set the tables for lunch. The table next to me was set for the next service at 11.05am and at no time did that particular person look my way to clear my table or ask if I needed anything further. Leaving the premises, I was very surprised to not see a single soul on the street queueing up to get into restaurant at 11.15am.

Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick
Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick

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