Staying with Hungry Pete between Christmas and New Years at his West Beach penthouse apartment, Café Strand at Glenelg was one of the places I had marked out to try. As well as receiving positive comments on the net it was the perfect distance away for a pre and post breakfast walk along the beach.
The Café is located in either an old art deco building which has been fairly heavily modified, or maybe a newer building done up in a similar style. It's well lit with bright colours, but to me it felt a bit generic and lacking in personality. Nice enough but didn't set my world on fire, which turned out to be the theme of the morning.
Hungry Pete's breakfast de jour was the hot cakes with chocolate hazelnut spread, crushed hazelnuts and cream. I must admit, I wasn't that impressed with the look of these when they came out. The hotcakes themselves looked like a larger version of something I'd expect to get at a Hungry Jacks or McDonalds, just tarted up a bit by the crushed hazelnuts on the side. Taste wise they were a little better than this but still nothing special. Admittedly these hotcakes were a bit cheaper than in most of the cafes I've recently visited but still a little disappointing.
Ruby went for the healthier option. The yoghurt and berry crunch comprised vanilla and honey yoghurt, berry compote and toasted muesli. I didn't try this but both Hungry Pete and Ruby weren't too impressed and thought that the berry compote was way too sweet.
My own choice was the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a toasted English muffin. A simple dish that was probably the best of the morning. It still had some issues though. The scrambled eggs were fine but not as light and fluffy as the best places achieve, but more importantly the muffin had been over-toasted making the crust hard to cut.
I also was a bit intrigued by the apple cheesecake. Not being able to see the inside the cake before ordering I was expecting an apple flavoured cheesecake. Instead it was more cheesecake on top with a layer of apple just above the base. Not a bad cake but a little lacking in flavour and the temperature and texture suggested that it had just come out of the fridge.
Not a bad café for breakfast but it felt like it should have been better. Except for the berry compote there were no major issues with the food but I don't think I'd order any of it again. There were also a number of small things that weren't done as well as they could have been. For example service was a little erratic with one waitress (who seemed more senior than the others) on the ball but it was hard to get the attention of the others when we were ready to order or we wanted our bill. It was the only upmarket style café I noticed in Glenelg and the café wasn't an uncomfortable place to eat but there was nothing about it that would make me want to linger either. I'd consider a return visit for dinner but probably wouldn't return for breakfast.
Food - 6.5
Ambience - 7
Service - 6.5
Price - 7
108 Jetty Road
Tel: (08) 8376 9222