I have always been intrigued by the café located in that tiny street, if it can be called that, adjacent to the Windsor train station. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that it was occupied by a tapas bar called Garcia & Sons, which I had been looking forward to checking out. Unfortunately in Melbourne, bars and restaurants tend to come and go and so I missed out on that opportunity. Looking for inspiration on where to have breakfast this morning, The Age newspaper generously obliged with “A foodie’s guide to Windsor”. Under the section entitled “Breakfast – with killer coffee”, the invitation to start my day with beetroot and sweet potato fritters at Two Lost Boys gave me the impetus to get out of bed and make my way there before I miss out.
Walking into Two Lost Boys, I was greeted at the door by someone in a checked shirt, skinny jeans and converse and there was an odd moment of silence where I hesitated to ask for a table, unsure if the person in front of me was a customer about to leave or an actual staff member on duty. Throwing caution to the wind, I asked for a table and was shown into the main dining area.
The café is full of natural light, and tastefully decorated with timber tables and a timber bench along the front window. The ceiling has been covered in white pegboard and soft light recessed into its edges and wall display units, creating a contemporary and elegant dining space. The beautiful front display counter, adored with a variety of leadlight panels from old doors, is a striking centrepiece and a definite talking point.
The quality of the coffee was indeed “killer” as promised in The Age . The coffee beans are locally sourced from Monk Bodhi Dharma and full of rich, roasted flavour. While there a few casually attired hipster dudes manning the busy dining area, the staff do know how to engage and interact with their customers, with the right level of service that is memorable and yet unobtrusive.
The breakfast menu offers the usual variety of dishes generally available in other cafes, but with a slight emphasis on Middle Eastern ingredients and spices to create unique flavours. Although I was tempted to try the Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes, I resolutely stuck with my original decision to order the Sweet Potato and Beetroot Fritters.
When my breakfast arrived, my dish was a picture of understated elegance with a smear of beetroot across the plate, helping to emphasise the bold and vibrant colours embodied in the fritter and just wilted spinach, the pink salmon formed into a perfect rosette and the horseradish cream lightly decorated with finely chopped walnuts. The beetroot and sweet potato had been coarsely grated, well cooked and formed into a rosti style base. The rich, ruby red of the beetroot combined with the dark, sunset orange colour of the cooked sweet potato created an amazing and luscious display that made eating the fritter a feast for the eyes, as well as for the palate. The combination of beetroot and sweet potato was expertly balanced and seemed appropriate for a variable Autumn day. The eggs were perfectly poached and the cured salmon was delicious, although it did have a strong fish flavour, given that the portions had probably been a little more thickly cut than intended. The cream nicely melted into the piping hot fritter, although I couldn’t detect the slightest hint of horseradish, the smooth texture complemented the velvet-like consistency of the cooked vegetable stack.
Eating at Two Lost Boys was a fabulous breakfast experience and an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Chapel Street. Although the café is out of sight, tucked down the side of the Windsor train station, it is definitely not out of mind. That which was hidden away from view, has indeed now been found.