Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Breakfast Series - The Hutch Bistro

It's increasingly difficult to find breakfast spots that I haven't tried close to home, so I've been casting my foodie net a little further of late.  It's not that I can't find cafes that I haven't been to before, but it's hard to find a cafe with a menu that appeals.  Some of them are too fancy and some of them don't really have enough options to make it interesting for me, and by interesting, I usually mean chorizo on the menu.

When looking online for a breakfast spot, I usually look for areas that I know or have lived in before, so I went searching for cafes in the half dozen or so suburbs I lived in previously.  We ended up finding a cafe in the Grange, which is one of the northern suburbs SC and I lived in for a whole six weeks!  Long story short, our awesome house at the Grange was sold out from underneath us and we had to find a new place to live - which resulted in finding an even more awesome house in Bardon.

I'd never heard of The Hutch Bistro before, but I was intrigued by the web site, which had proudly displayed a Dimmi badge noting that it was their 'neighbourhood gem' for 2013.  It was enough to entice me to look over the menu, which didn't have a heap of options, but did list chorizo as one of their 'extras'.  It was enough for me, so we jumped in the car and drove north.

The Hutch Bistro is right in the middle of suburbia, albeit inner city suburbia, and was positioned in a little strip of shops and was fairly well hidden from street view.  We had a pretty good idea of where we needed to go from our time in the suburb, but the bistro kind of blended into the background.  It was fairly quiet when we arrived and we were able to find a table pretty easily.  The Hutch Bistro looked like a fairly typical suburban bistro, with a few comfy seats inside, but a large undercover outdoor alfresco dining area, so we chose a nice spot outside to sit.

Our waiter brought over a couple of menus and took our drinks orders straight away.  It was pretty easy for SC, who just went for a half strength latte, but I struggled to make up my mind, with no smoothies on offer, I just settled for a vanilla milk shake.  It actually took quite some time for our waiter to come back and take our food orders and even longer for our drinks to come out, which was surprising based on how quiet it was.  I was left wondering if they were still setting up inside.  My shake was presented 'old school' in a big metal container and was pretty good.  SC's coffee was by Bellissimo, which seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment, it was actually really good!

With a couple of options with chorizo on offer, I went in a completely different direction from my traditional big 'fry-up' for breakfast.  For some reason the baked eggs with chorizo, roasted Roma tomato and bread seemed appealing.  I'd seen a heap of baked egg options on menus around town and I'm not sure what possessed me to order from the Hutch Bistro.  I hadn't fully gone off theme though and ordered a side of bacon and some extra chorizo for good measure.  There was quite the delay between my order and my baked eggs arriving, but I'd never ordered baked eggs before, so it was probably a normal wait.  

The dish looked the goods, with a couple of baked eggs mixed in with a very spanish looking mess of chorizo and tomato.  There was a pile of bacon and a couple of sliced up chorizos around the outside of my bowl, which looked like way more food than I was going to be able to scoff down.  The baked eggs seemed just a little over cooked, so there was not much runny yolk in my breakfast, which would have been nice.  Even though the eggs were a bit on the firm side, they worked well with the chorizo and tomatoes, which both provided a bit of sweet fire.  I got about half way through before I decided that I'd had enough and set my sights on the bacon and chorizo sides, which were both good.  I think I'd been hedging my bets with my order and had so much food, I felt wasteful.  I think in future I need to commit a little better!

We were a bit worried about SC's order of eggs benne when it was presented.  Straight up, we could see that there were some differences from your normal 'benne. Firstly, the hollandaise sauce was split and really runny, so runny, it wasn't really sticking to the eggs.  Secondly, there were mushrooms and grilled onion underneath the eggs, which I'd never seen before.  It took a while for SC to decide that the mushrooms and onions were a step too far, but once she did, she had to stop eating.  It was weird, the eggs were cooked really well, but the hollandaise, mushrooms and onions just didn't work.

There were a few things that stood out for us during our breakfast at The Hutch Bistro, it was quiet and peaceful at the cafe, which was really appreciated after the noise and hustle of the city.  I quite liked my baked eggs but made the mistake of ordering too much food, then not eating all of it (even the chorizo!!).  It was SC's eggs benne that probably didn't work out so well, perhaps a case of trying to do too much to a classic.

It remained quiet the entire time we were at the cafe, so service was pleasant, if not a little slow.  I'm not too sure if it was because our visit was on a Saturday morning, or if the Hutch Bistro is more of a lunch and dinner spot but I'd have thought there would be more people heading out for breakfast at the Grange.  Looking over the dinner menu, I could see quite a few dishes that I'd definitely order, so maybe its more of a dinner location.

We were glad that we went out to one of our old suburbs, and even though we'd probably not head back to the Hutch, we did remember why we loved the suburb so much.  It also reminded us that there was more around the area that we could check out.  Wilston had a little strip of cafes that we drove past on the way home, I think maybe we'll check them out too!

The Bellissimo coffee was excellent, no wonder its starting to get a great rep
The hollandaise sauce was way too runny and the mushrooms and onion were perhaps best left off this classic...
The baked eggs were a little over, but the flavour of the dish was great - the chorizo and bacon were just cream!

The Hutch Bistro on UrbanspoonThe Hutch Bistro

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