Pearl Oyster Espresso
It took all of four minutes for a table to clear and for us to be redirected, but in that time we had received our menus and ordered our coffees. Super efficient service, yes!
The menus, like many places of a similar ilk, were random, and I was disappointed when I opened mine only to find a food menu and not an educational pictorial guide through the social history of Tasmania.
Pearl Oyster’s menu has a bit of an Asian feel to it. Sure, it offers your typical eggs and French toast options, but most things come with ginger, salmon, some with dukkah, Japanese mayo and something called Tofutti which I only know as a character name in the 80s movie Overboard. I hope that’s not what it actually is though. It also promotes a Meat Free Monday, which I thought was novel seeing as most of the dishes on the menu as it stands are vegetarian.
I opted for the Bada Bing because I wanted an excuse to say it and I like the sexual undertones it carries. I ordered it with a thrust of my hips and waited patiently while I sipped my cold latte and wondered why they would opt to make a coffee with hot water out of a tap rather than from an actual coffee machine. I’m positive this isn’t actually what they did, but the temperature reminded me of the cups of tea I used to make my mum when I was eight and used hot water out of the tap because I wasn’t allowed to use the stove top kettle. What pepped me up was the highly appropriate Syndal High School commemorative spoon which made an appearance with my partner’s cappuccino. Totally appropriate.
This place is typically retro. Each table is dressed with a mixture of real and fake flowers, which lends itself to the wonderful task of dusting and watering. The walls are dressed in an eclectic mix of art including sketches of ballerinas, pilot hats, Asian gold prints, pot plants, books and a painting of a tooth which made me feel uneasy and reminded me that I still have a cracked tooth that needs fixing. But until then I’ll continue to chew only on the left side of my mouth.
As our meals came out I noticed my knife was a bit dirty, which was a shame because I like to eat off clean cutlery. But what perplexed me the most was that my meal was served in a bowl. Have you ever eaten eggs on toast out of a bowl? It’s not pretty. Luckily I was with my partner who has promised to love me unconditionally so I immediately slammed my face into the food to gently remind him of this promise.
It was an absolute pleasure to eat the poached eggs in this dish. The toast was beautiful (that crunchy, thick cut stuff you always get at cafes but can never seem to master at home), the olives were the tastiest I’d had in ages and the feta was pretty good. It came with a good serving of prosciutto which wasn’t crispy (as it promised on the menu) but was still nice, and although the Napoli sauce was good, I don’t quite understand why it was included in the dish. It was sort of slapped on top and not incorporated into it all. Plus it made the corner of my toast soggy, and for that I shall never forgive it.
It kind of seemed like a strange pile of food to put on a plate. You know how you get to the day before payday and all you have in the house is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really go together but you put it all on one plate and insist it’s an actual meal, then you eat each element separately and all in all it’s not a bad dinner? Yeah, well this wasn’t a ‘bad breakfast’ in that sense.
In conclusion, the food was good, but not incredible. The coffee was cold and the cutlery needed a bit of a wipe down before being sent out to the table. However, the wait staff are lovely and friendly and the menu is interesting. It didn’t seem as sharp or as dedicated as some of the cafes I’ve tried in the past, and that was a bit disappointing, but they can knock out a mean egg, and sometimes that’s all that matters.