a great Harvest to end 2013
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Well at least that's what the songs all say, and I have to admit my stomach is very much in agreement. When else during the year can you eat and eat and eat, and not feel guilty over the calorie intake but during the Christmas holidays.
This year has been such a busy one for Jeremy and I, so we've really appreciated having days off to spend time with our families and indulge in some delicious food. As well as family, I love catching up with friends so I've been lucky enough to eat a couple of times at Beaufort St Merchant (one of my favourite stomping grounds) during the break, plus I made my way to Harvest Espresso to catch up with one of my closest friends, Linda, over breakfast.
Situated on Albany Highway in Victoria Park, Harvest Espresso is a gem. I'm a huge fan, I really like the well thought out and inventive menu, plus the cute and homely fit out of the decor. It's simple but the food really impresses so it's become a bit of a favourite of mine even though it's not close by to where I live.
Linda and I arrived around 9.30am on Saturday, fully prepared to deal with the usual line of customers waiting for a table. There were groups of people milling around out front but lucky for us since we were just two people, we were seated straight away inside.
Menus were presented to us immediately and I dove into dissecting the options while Linda peaked around the place curiously. It was her first time eating at Harvest Espresso though she admitted to being close to coming by a couple of times.
Ham and cheese sandwich
At Harvest Espresso the menu is simple but enticing. There's a short list of toasted ciabatta sandwiches to choose from, toast with different spreads or accompaniments and a fantastic seasonal menu that screams for your attention.
We go up to the counter to place our orders, with both of us choosing the same beverage - Stolen Recipe's Berry & Pomegranate Ice Tea ($4.50). It's not fresh, but these bottles of ice tea are delicious! Just a little sweet from the fruit juice, with that lingering green tea flavouring. I really like this ice tea, so I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for this in the future.
Ham and cheese sandwich
Linda tells me she's not overly hungry so she decides on a Ham & Cheese Toasted Sandwich ($9.50) which has avocado and tomato relish inside. We both laugh when it comes out to the table as it's not small but she rallies and gets through it despite her protesting stomach.
The ciabatta is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. There's so much filling inside it that it really does provide some value to it - we count about six layers of ham! The avocado inside is deliciously chunky and brings some real soul to this humble sandwich. The salad on the side looks a bit like a plate filler, but it's fresh and peppery, the radish sweet and crunchy - it's a welcomed addition.
The only downfall with this dish is the fact that it came to the table about 10 minutes before my food did. I bullied Linda into starting without me, but it did mean there was a decent amount of time between us both eating.
Smoked salmon crepes
For my breakfast dish, I find myself torn between three different menu options. After seeing the gorgeous photo of the Apple & Spiced Ricotta Crepes on Harvest Espresso's instagram they looked and sounded like a real treat. So did the Shakshouka, which was being devoured by a diner on the next table. However capsicum gives me unbearable stomach cramps so I try to avoid it like the plague because while I am happy to deal with lactose intolerant repercussions as a cheese lover, capsicum is just plain painful for my stomach and can make me quite ill. What a bugger because it is delicious!
In the end I chose the Smoked Salmon Crepes ($22.50) - and boy am I glad I did!
Smoked salmon crepes
The crepes come out to the table looking like art on a plate. Two paper thin crepes sit folded in place, covered in a generous pouring of tarragon & seeded mustard beurre blanc sauce. There's a plentiful layer of smoked salmon which is still a little cool (much to my happy surprise as I don't really enjoy warm smoked salmon), plus two poached eggs, edamame, pea sprouts, hazelnuts, tobiko and crispy pancetta slices.
It's a mouthful to say all the ingredients, but this dish was heavenly - there's no other way to describe it.
The crepes are smooth but manage to soak up some of that buttery sauce which is creamy, thick and strong with the tarragon flavouring. The poached eggs are cooked to perfection, which bright orange yolk swimming out onto the plate the moment my fork pierces the surface of the white. There is something just truly food porn sexy about a runny yolk and this one ticked every box. The pancetta snaps under my teeth like shards of glass. It's so salty and moorish, offering a great flavour difference to the other ingredients on the plate.
I love, love, loved this dish and I think I will need to pay another visit to Harvest Espresso again soon to try it again, or perhaps be tempted to try those sweet crepes they have on offer. This eating spot is a bright spark in a suburb full of delicious restaurants, and if you haven't been and love breakfast, I definitely recommend you try it out. And if you're not bursting after you finish your food, you should try one of their scrumptious baked goods they have on offer like their chocolate croissants or sweet tarts.