Sunday, July 15, 2012

Barclay's Cafe, Heathmont by Snooze

I'm not very familiar with the Ringwood area--except as a place to pass through--and it's with great interest over the last year or so that I've ventured into the uncharted territory of greater Ringwood cages. The most recent, and only a few weeks ago, was Firehouse. Interestingly, Big Fil and I have been to both of these places for brunch with Miss No Meat. I look forward to more of her recommendations.

A visit to Barclays is definitely not about the decor: the floor is a bland coloured tile (which fortunately swallows a fair of the noise from the crowded room), the walls are bland, and the chairs and tables are typical down market cafe style. But don't be side tracked by the decor or the diners (who are not trendy inner city types) because there's a healthy focus on the food, which is exactly where it should be.

Miss No Meat went for my all time breakfast favourite called the Roma Breakfast: two poached eggs on toasted ciabatta with tomato relish, spinach, tomato salsa and avocado. This looked lovely and was very generous. I attempted to interview Miss No Meat for her view of her breakfast but all I could get was a couple of "yums" in between mouthfuls.

My choice was the Eggs Sombrero: a leek and potato hash brown, with tomato relish, fresh spinach, Barclay's chilli beans and poached egg. I wondered whether this would be enough given its lack of bread and with Miss No Meat's words ringing in my ears ... but that didn't happen. The beans turned out to be filling and I enjoyed the dish with its balance of perfectly cooked eggs and slightly wilted spinach. A couple of points though: the hash brown was delicate in taste and was overshadowed by the beans and relish. Chilli in the beans was also a misnomer.

It was no surprise when Big Fil opted for the Breakfast Burger, a long favourite of his. Barclays is made up of golden toasted Turkish bread, filled with two free range fried eggs bacon and sauteed mushrooms.

The last two of our party Ms S and her daughter Miss A went for the Belgium Waffles: Ms S got them with the banana, caramel ans pecan. Little Miss A opted for the maple syrup, which is not the real McCoy. Both opted for the ice cream as an extra.

The apple and rhubarb crumble cake was moist and nicer than I’ve had else recently but unfortunately it came a long second to the lemon curd tart.

I love anything acidic, and the lemon curd cake was definitely this, served with a delicious dollop of cream. Something I'd try again.

Barclays is a great place in the suburbs, friendly to both children and animals and with plenty of space between tables.

Food - 7
Service - 7
Ambience - 6.5
Price - 7

196 Canterbury Rd
Heathmont VIC 3135
Tel: 03 9738 2366

Barclays Cafe on Urbanspoon

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