I have been dreaming and drooling about the new breakfast/brunch offering in Vic Park - Harvest Espresso - ever since I read about it on both Chomp Chomp and WenY Wonders Why's blogs. If you have time definitely check out their posts because you'll soon see why I couldn't stop thinking about this place.
Finally I got my chance after a few busy weekends in a row. After a little sleep in (greatly needed after the last few stressful weeks at work with a couple new TV campaigns and a rebrand in the making - my life as a Marketing girl has become very intense lately), we got up and dressed in comfy Sunday clothing (read: shorts and singlets) then headed on down to Vic Park.
We arrived at around 10.30am, and the weekend heat was already in full effect. This little place was gorgeous - organic appearance with beautiful wooden furnishings, dried native flowers and shelves with loafs of bread. There's also an amazing counter full of baked goods like chocolate tarts, muffins and scones. My stomach was rumbling!
Unfortunately there's limited seating here so we take the last available table but it's outside so we have to battle the unfortunate weather at the same time. The staff are so great here though and they let us know that as soon as a table is available inside, they'll move us. This only takes about fifteen minutes so we're happily inside by the time our food arrives.
Spanish baked egg
For his breakfast, Jeremy chooses the Harvest Spanish Baked Egg ($17). It comes with fresh chorizo, cabbage, tomatoes, cannellini beans, paprika and slices of a french baguette with lurpak butter (the best kind) to spread.
The egg inside is gooey and the yolk a bright sunny yellow. The sauce around it is delicious - especially the use of the beans which add a nice texture to soak up the tomatoey goodness. He looks incredibly happy as he chomps away, though he did mention it would be nice with a bit more chorizo since he only had about three pieces inside. However that said, he's quick to add that it is only if he could say one critique and overall it's a heavenly dish. I have to admit, my bite is one worth savouring. I particularly love the sprinkling of herbs on top.
The baguette on side is toasted lightly and has still got a little softness to the centre. Basically it's the ideal accompaniment to the sauciness of his meal. I like hearing him crunch away - it seems so satisfying!
He washes it down with an iced chocolate, which is pretty spectacular. It's laden with creamy vanilla ice cream scoops and has that perfect sweetness without being cloying. It disappears pretty damn quickly!
For my dish, I choose the Seasonal Mushrooms ($15) which is a slice of toasted brioche, rocket, mixed mushrooms and goat's cheese. There's a good drizzle of olive oil around the plate to add some additional seasoning to the flavour profile.
I have to say, this is everything I love on a plate. I adore brioche - it's richness, decadence and overall taste. As for the selection of mushrooms, I am basically swooning. From what I can tell and remember, there was enoki, king oyster, brown beech and some others. A great selection and all cooked just right so they still retained some bite to them while being tender.
The goat's cheese is creamy, coating my mouth tantalisingly. If you've read my other posts, you'll know I particularly love soft cheeses so you can imagine how I'm reacting to this. Yum. Yum. Yes, you get the point... yum.
Ginger cream tart
We're pretty full when we get to the end of our meals, so we decide to buy some of the tarts to take home with us. Yes, we are little piggies.
Jeremy chooses the Ginger Cream Tart ($4.50) and I opt for the Fig Tart ($5.50). We also get one of the Rich Chocolate Tarts ($4.50) too since it looks too damn good to get past.
Jeremy declares the ginger cream one the best tart he's ever had. The balance between the custard filling and ginger infusion is exactly as it should be. The pastry is light and both crunchy and crumbly at the same time. It's a clever and wonderful dessert.
The fig tart is demolished by me in an enthusiastic and approving manner. The figs are sweet, glazed lightly and sit on top of a silky custard cream. It's just made me remember how much I love figs and need to buy them more often.
We share the chocolate tart later on and it is incredible. It is rich and superbly decadent; the chocolate gooey and like velvet. It works well with the savouriness of the pastry and is a great way to finish off our Harvest Espresso experience.
I think I have a new favourite breakfast place. In fact I know I do. This little gem is worth the visit and worth the heat when sitting outdoors. I highly recommend trying the baked goods there since they were even more incredible than they looked. It's a great menu, gorgeous venue and the staff are really lovely. Be back soon I hope!