Lolo and Wren, Brunswick West

After last week’s impromptu adventure on the No. 55 tram, I decided that the Brunswick area was now my new go-to destination for breakfast. Surfing my Urbanspoon app for places to eat, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw that Lolo and Wren was located near one of the tram stops on the same route. I can’t quite remember when I first read about this café but it has definitely been on the “must visit” list for a very long time.

Walking down Albion Street, I almost stumbled upon my intended destination when I saw a group of people eating outside a residential apartment building and then I noticed the blackboard sign outside. The café was extremely busy when I walked inside, but thankfully a table had been vacated just as I arrived. Despite the unusual location, the café does seem to be a popular destination, and in no time there were a few more people waiting for a place to become available.

The menu is intriguing to say the least and it’s always refreshing to see different offerings or interpretations of breakfast items on order, which included two full pages of original and mouth-watering dishes. You know that you are in the right place when “Patatas Bravas” is readily available as a side dish for breakfast! Despite the delectable sounding sliders and burgers on offer, I kept to the classic dishes and found myself ordering the Brioche French Toast “St Clements”.

“Five Senses” coffee blends are quickly becoming my favourites, and the quality of the roasted beans in the house blend was evident on the first sip of my skinny latte. The creamy texture, rich aroma and slightly sweet finish was delicious and well worth traversing across Melbourne for.

Brioche French Toast "St Clements" with lemon curd, fresh orange, ricotta, candied zest, raspberry compote, baby basil and burnt orange syrup - Lolo and Wren, Brunswick West
Brioche French Toast “St Clements” with lemon curd, fresh orange, ricotta, candied zest, raspberry compote, baby basil and burnt orange syrup – Lolo and Wren, Brunswick West

Trying to make sense of what “St Clements” meant in the description of the dish I had ordered, all I could think of was the line in the age-old nursery rhyme, “Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clement’s”. Certainly the description on the menu seemed to support that assertion. With lemon curd, fresh orange, ricotta, candied zest, raspberry compote, baby basil and burnt orange syrup adorning the French toast, there was a strong citrus theme.

My French toast looked spectacular when it arrived, with so many delicious elements on the plate it was difficult to know where to start. The thick-textured dollop of lemon curd looked inviting so I started there. With almost a custard-like consistency, the curd had a tart, zesty flavour and to my mind, was the highlight of the dish. The fruit and the fresh ricotta were also scrumptious when paired with the soft brioche, providing lots of flavour but the burnt orange syrup took the dish to another level with its caramelised intensity and added moisture. Thankfully the slices of brioche toast were on the smaller side of the equation, which meant that overall the dish wasn’t too substantial and much more enjoyable.

Despite the unpretentious surroundings and unique location, the coffee and food are well deserving of all the accolades I keep reading about. Now that I know how easy it is to get there, a second visit to sample those patatas bravas is definitely on the cards.

Lolo and Wren on Urbanspoon

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