Friday, July 19, 2013

Las Chicas, Balaclava by Bureaucrat

Long-time readers of our blog would know by now that Big Fil, Snooze and I each have our own preferences when it comes to checking out places to review for the blog. Sometimes, the three of us (and our other food bloggers in tow) will all want to try the same place - which is a good thing, because it means we don't have to negotiate with each other as to where we should go eat (believe me, deciding on where we should eat can get laboured at times!).

French toast

Other times, a little, or a lot, of negotiating and convincing is required.  While, for other times, I do want to check out the places that Big Fil and Snooze have in mind, but as I love the freedom to sleep in on the weekend, it means that I often forgo joining them for breakfast.

To say that I'm a newb on the breakfast cafe scene is an understatement.  Case in point, on the rare occasion when I joined them for breakfast at Grace recently, when I ordered the "brat breakfast", I thought I'd be getting a sausage and not a bacon, rocket, avo and tomato sanger.

So, on one recent weekend, I managed to get out of bed in time for us to meet Ms C for breakfast at Las Chicas.  Arriving around 10.30am, I was surprised how many people are already awake and lining up for brekkie at Las Chicas (don't people sleep in at all??). Fortunately, we only had to wait 10 minutes before we were seated. Inside, the place was packed and there was a energetic buzz in the air from diners who were loading up on the great looking food and cups of caffeine, and the zippy staff.

For drinkies, we got a latte and two pots of chai.  The chai was reasonable and good quality.  I'd prefer it to have been a bit stronger but that's just me.

Onto the food. Despite the busy crowds, the food came out at a reasonable time.  So points for that.

Ms C got the breakfast burrito.  This was a mighty dish!  A burrito wrapped around eggs, bacon, aioli, rocket w avo and salsa and served w some chilli sauce on the side.  I tried some of this, and wow, it's mighty tasty.  The eggs were fluffy and not overdone.  The bacon was properly crispy (almost like crackling).  Points also for the generous serve of avo and the flavoursome, fresh, zingy salsa.  The serving was massive, it could easily be enough for two. I reckon this was the best dish of the three of us - Ms C seemed quite happy with her dish!

The Lawyer got French toast w strawbs, banana and pistachio ricotta, served w proper maple syrup (see first pic). This was pretty impressive too. Lovely golden chewy bread, with nice crispy bits.  As with Ms C, the Lawyer was pretty happy too.

I got the buttermilk pancakes w lavender and blueberry compote, mascarpone and cinnamon sugar. This was okay and a bit of a let down, as I had serious food envy of Ms C and the Lawyer. The pancakes were reasonably fluffy, but I have a suspicion that the pancakes were made from a mix - albeit a better quality pancake mix.  As I make buttermilk pancakes, I know how the texture should be. The compote was okay too. I could taste the blueberries but I couldn't taste the lavender.  Plus, the compote made the top pancake a bit soggy.  I also really couldn't taste much of the cinnamon.  As an aside, I only have proper cinnamon at home - it's very aromatic and there is a bit of heat from it too. Once you have the real deal, all the generic cinnamon you get from the shops just won't do.

Food – 8
Service – 8
Ambience – 8
Price – 8

Great food, great vibe.  Servings are quite generous and the food is fresh.

Service was generally good - it was friendly and prompt, even with the crowds of breakfasters (and the Lawyer got some extra VIP service for being a cutie...hehehe).  However, what I didn't like was being presented with the bill before we had finished.  I know the place is busy and popular, and it's not like we were out-staying our time there, so I thought it was a tad rude of the staff to do this.

Have a gander of Big Fil's review of Las Chicas back in June 2010.

Las Chicas
203 Carlisle Street
Balaclava VIC 3183

Telephone: 9531 3699

Las Chicas on Urbanspoon

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