Busy and important professional city-working people need to eat breakfast too, that’s why I dropped in on Caboose Canteen in the CBD to check out if it ticks all the boxes – good food, speedy service, and an air of pretension to help make me feel superior, even if just for a moment.
I guess the most striking aspect of the café is its location. The interior is warm and inviting and the café sits underneath one of Melbourne most beautiful hotels (The Westin) and right near Brunetti’s, home of, like, the best gelato ever. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to review gelato for breakfast otherwise this post would just be a photo of me slamming my face into a massive bowl of it.
Before I headed out I had a chat with a friend and we discussed how someone could stuff up bacon and eggs. Could anyone really stuff it up? How hard could it possibly be? Unfortunately Caboose Canteen showed me the way to make an incredibly disappointing scramble, which I plan to use on my mother next time she visits in the hopes that it encourages her to leave sooner rather than later.
The great thing about Caboose Canteen was the speed and friendliness of service. I was attended to and seated straight away, and the waiter was genuinely friendly and relaxed. I felt comfortable and at ease, which isn’t quite what I was hoping for whilst playing the role of ‘Very Important and Always in a Hurry Because I’m in Such Hot Demand Professional Who Works in the CBD’ chick, but for a normal human being it was quite nice. I also left with a bit of a crush on the waiter, which I think he became aware of after I asked if he could sit next to me for a little while. He declined.
What I was really stoked about was that this place spared me from running down Collins Street eating egg out of my hands whilst trying to get to work on time after a lengthy wait for food. It’s actually quite speedy, taking around 7minutes for my meal to drop in front of me from the time I placed my order.
The whole thing looked rather lop sided with the three kilos of scramble grossly outweighing the two pissy bits of bacon on my plate. Which one did I pay extra for? I’m confused.
It never occurred to me that you were supposed to be able to carve enormous chasms into the side of scrabbled eggs! Thank God this place enlightened me. These eggs were bland, rubbery and about five minutes overcooked, and if it weren’t for me breaking my father’s cardinal rule of ‘don’t add salt’, I probably wouldn’t have been able to eat them at all. Luckily, the cook dropped an entire shaker full of cracked pepper on top of my dish otherwise there may have been no taste at all. I’m also almost certain the herbs that were mixed in with the eggs were actually just tiny pieces of green tissue paper. Awesome!
No butter. No butter?! What? Am I the only one who puts butter on toast these days? Aside from the ‘no butter’ mishap, the toast was actually ok. I mean, I wasn’t able to successfully navigate through the pile of eggs to get to it properly, but from the bits I was able to get to it was fresh and perfectly toasted/charred. To my relief they didn’t describe the toast as something wankie like ‘Melbourne sourdough rhy pumpernickel’ or whatever.
I had to order the bacon separately as a side to the eggs. I’m finding this to be more and more common in cafes. The assumption that we’re all health freaks and are frightened of animal fat is spreading, which deeply hurts my feelings. The two pieces of bacon I paid $3 for were almost cooked, which I was grateful for. Next time, however, I’ll probably just head out to Collingwood Children’s Farm and chew on the side of one the pigs out there. It’d probably have the same consistency and at least that way I can guarantee the freshness.
For a café smack bang in the middle of all the action and with a beautiful outlook onto the city streets (when they remove all the scaffolding, anyway), this place didn’t charge like a wounded bull. $10 for ‘farm eggs’ on toast (as opposed to suburban eggs on toast?), and $3 for a side of bacon. Looking at their breakfast menu overall it was pretty well priced. It’s when dinner time comes along that they start stinging like a pissed off wasp. However, when I went to pay I was told there was a $15 minimum on EFTPOS. So really, my breakfast cost $15 and not $13. And that’s just annoying.