Porch and Parlour, Bondi Beach (12 April 2015)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Straddled on a T-intersection along Bondi North, this corner carries many demons. Each August in the City to Surf, you're fighting a 14km losing battle starting from Hyde Park. Heartbreak Hill has just stabbed you in the chest with a fork.

Roaring crowds, salty smell of the beach ...the tape must be 200m away!

Sadly that thought is as premature (and sinful) as 9 year old wearing eyeliner. Still 2km of pain before that celebratory sausage sizzle at the finishing chute.

Porch and Parlour
The young crowds swarm Porch and Parlour early on a Sunday. Indifferent staff, 30 min table wait plus 40 min for the food. Hanger-ridden heartbreak.

Porch and Parlour - camera shy patrons
The missus and I, joined by dog Molly start with a Chai tea. Just like Matt Hayden (in Cricket), a tried and tested opener.

Honey-infused chai tea with almond milk - $4.50
Limited menu, quality produce, lots of eggs and prepared with a twist. Our pre-agreed mandate is to critique the legendary Pea Pancakes and Devil's Breakfast.

Green Pea Pancake with egg, avocado, feta and salad plus grilled trout - $17 + $7
Adding trout to pancakes is on good authority. Here's a fact - eggs, trout and avo is a guaranteed menage et trois in the mouth. Add richly stock-seasoned peas and this is happiness.

Pancake rating? Great colour, pleasing crispiness and an unexpected rough interior. A high density almost left me craving fluffy pancakes in the aftermath.

Despite being well balanced and an optical pleasure, I became emotionally disengaged with each bite. No where near magical enough to repay 3 months of anticipation.

Egg yolk oozing onto the trout and pea pancake
Though the poaching job was solid, the twin shame was just one lonely egg and a hobbit trout (i.e. too small).

Devil's Breakfast - paprika and chilli coated eggs, chorizo, beans, potato and toast - $22
In essence, this was a heavily spiced chorizo-infused baked eggs dish on steroids. The oils from the sausage carried into the beans and sausage.

Only negative was fried potato under-delivering on crunchiness. At $22, I can't excuse the chef thinking one sourdough slice was acceptable.

No doubt a tasty dish for a stomach craving a warm hearty meal with a matching palate that likes a kick.

Other interesting choice was the Green Breaky Bowl. Didn't get to try but the adjacent table did.

Green Breaky Bowl - kale, spinach, quinoa, eggs and avocado - $16.50
Had the diner turned her back, I certainly would have tucked my fork into this simple but healthy combo. 

Overall this brunch was certainly pleasant, healthy and satisfying enough. Now add the ridiculous wait time, poor service quality and premium pricing.

Very rustic fitout - highly appealing to the Bondi hipsters
My score summary speaks the truth:

Food - 8/10 - winning brunch staples combined with freshness, seasoning and technique.
Value - 6/10 - adequate servings but not impressive enough to warrant >$20.
Other - 6/10 - the service, wait time and awkward outdoor seating compromised the pleasure of a lazy Sunday brunch.
Overall - 7/10 - left mildly happy. Worth a visit only if you're a local.

Will I be returning?
Not for the food. Possibly only for a post City to Surf feed.

Lorie and Molly
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