Friday, June 22, 2012

Bigger Than My Belly, Elsternwick by Big Fil

I’ve been a bit slack recently. There have been a whole stack of new cafes open within walking distance of me over the last few months and so far I have tried out exactly none of them. Too busy paying attention to places I wanted to try on the other side of town at the risk of missing great options under my nose, it’s something I plan to address over the next few weeks. First place on the list due to a great name and one particularly decadent sounding item I wanted to try, Bigger than my Belly.

Just entering the door you know you are in a Melbourne café. The coffee machine in a prominent position, a wooden slightly rustic counter and quirky features such as the saying from which the café name comes spelt out in scrabble letters on the wall. A polite greeting from the friendly staff completes a positive first impression.

Food wise the first thing which strikes you is the cake and cup-cake display which is impressive for a suburban café. It isn’t that the cakes are particularly novel or fancy looking, more that they look like the sort of stuff you wished you could bake at home. Lemon and caramel slices, brownies and friands, from a glance anyway they all look like they wouldn’t be out of place at a Country Woman’s Association winners table.

The menu would be familiar in style to anyone who regularly frequents inner Melbourne cafes. I always think the aim is to be interesting without being challenging, at least if you are aiming for a fairly general demographic. Trying to at least give a nod towards healthy eating, my porridge came with banana, maple and pecans. While it was a milkier than I would have preferred, it was sweet, tasty and filling.

The savoury ricotta pikelets with smoked salmon and spinach leaves was also good, a well sized serve for breakfast. It was generous with the salmon, with the spinach cutting through the potentially heavy salmon and ricotta and nicely complemented by the light pikelets.

The main menu item I was looking forward to through was the extremely decadent sounding brioche and Belgium chocolate toastie. Buttery bread with warm melted chocolate and perfectly toasted, golden deliciousness on a plate! While its tastes so good that it just can’t be good for you, even if it means an extra hour at the gym it just has to be worth it.

Funnily enough, the only item that was a bit of a letdown was one of the scrummy looking lemon slices. Not that there was anything wrong with the flavours, combining a sweet sugary top with a slightly tart cake. The issue was that the crust was too hard when compared with the fork so that I ended up having to use a fair bit of strength to break it up, resulting in a bit of a mess.

Small, homely, friendly and comparatively cheap, just want you want your local café to be like. Long a comparative disappointment in the good café stakes, the inner south-east has recently picked up its socks a bit and Bigger than my Belly is certainly playing its part.

Food – 8
Ambience – 7.5
Service – 7.5
Price – 7.5

474 Glenhuntly Road
Elsternwick VIC 3185
Tel: (03) 9523 9101

Bigger Than My Belly on Urbanspoon

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