Some days are made for breakfast. Yesterday was one such day.
Waking up in no mood to be productive, I quickly fell for the charms of the seductive laziness which crept through an open window… how she lured me in with her smooth-talking yawns and caressing bed-sheets. I could smell the sweat aroma of self-indulgence becoming more and more pungent as I made up my mind to achieve nothing by midday. I’ve always been goal oriented, and this one was just within reach. In the distance I could already see the guilt of yet another day wasted headed in my direction, but for now I was to experience the mental stimulation only the under side of a doona can provide. (step away from the gutter kids…) My procrastinating nature would put the revolution off another day.
Eventually, however, a meal would surely be required for me to sustain the gorgeously rotund figure I’ve been sporting this season, (all the cool kids my age seem to be doing it). I sometimes question whether I’m putting on weight due to the absolute lack of will power and exercise, or if it’s purely peer pressure. Fasting is an activity I’ve never had much patience for anyway. Breaking it, as a result, is almost an hourly habit.
This weekend, the feeder role fell upon New York Tomato, undoubtedly named by a geography nerd, it is just as easily found in the Yellow Pages, as on the street guide. (Crn of New and York streets, Richmond… Tomatoes nowhere to be seen). Having secured a nice spot outdoors on a gorgeous Victorian early spring day, as well as ordering the first round of coffees, I proceeded with my attempt at moulding the chair to my bottom, if nothing more than to leave my mark on the place.
The meal was nothing short of delicious. It certainly fulfilled its role. Not only by being flavoursome and thoroughly enjoyable (in particular the whole-seed Hollandaise) but also being infatuatingly fatty and single-platedly putting me in a digestive coma only a few more coffees could get me up from.
Having disengaged myself from the coffee drip, and argued about enough topics to offend half the population, my stay at NYT was coming to an end. It was at this stage I spotted an interesting sticker on the shop window : The Age Cheap Eats 2011. (and possibly previous years as well…)
Being a regular consumer of breakfasts around town, my anecdotal estimate for a dish (excluding the simpler muesli, fruit salads and other healthy ways of ruining a perfectly good start to the day) in Melbourne is $11-$15. NYT is priced around $15-$18. According to some quick research, the Cheap Eats guide is for any place serving meals under $30. UrbanSpoon also suggests it’s $ (not $, or $$). Having never consumed a breakfast over $30, I find it hard to put NYT in such a category.
Fantastic? Definitely. Flavoursome? You bet. Would I take a family of 5 on a single income?… sure, but I still wouldn’t call it cheap.
For those wondering about the meal itself… They do a potato tortilla, with harissa, chorizo and a poached egg which wonderfully combines Spanish and North African flavours. The spiciness of the harissa and the freshness of the coriander set the agenda, with the potatoes, egg and chorizo providing sufficient variety in textures and flavours in between. Fortunately, I was sharing the table with a very generous breakfast companion, who willingly redistributed their toast, as my dish stood bread-less, making the poached egg-yolk hard to soak up. I also ordered a side of whole-seed Hollandaise, which although might not have mixed well with the other flavours on my plate, is worth adding to any dish!
I also tried their cauliflower claypot, which was truly awful, but that’s cauliflower… what can you do.