It seemed like a lovely idea to try and get breakfast or brunch not too far from where I lived after getting a blood test done. I hate the blasted things, and figured treats were in order. Thornbury or West Preston (there is division as to where this place is situated. Being pseudo-local to the area, I’d say Thornbury) is a few suburbs away from where I live and in the last few years is looking significantly…gentrified. Upon the recommendation of Eating Melbourne, I hit up Pearl Oyster which you can get to on the 112 tram (the one that goes up Collins and Brunswick Streets).
When I first walked it, it was a little intimidating – attractive hip looking young folks both as customers and as staff. It has a really warm, friendly vibe and staff chat to each other like old friends. There’s lots of yummy choices, and they cater for vegetarians, vegans and gluten intolerant folks. I agonised over the French toast, and the field mushrooms on toast with goats’ cheese as I waited for a fresh pot of Lapsang Souchong tea. I went with the savoury choice.
The tea service is a little mismatched, but I love the tray and the reused teensy old-school milk bottle. My lactose-intolerant body feels guilty at not finishing all the milk! Sometimes, I forget to ask for soy milk.
I got stuck into my mushies and cheese pretty quickly – look how big they are! The sourdough was divine – one slice was plain, the other had olives in the loaf.
While eating, the grocer arrived to deliver fresh produce and chat to the staff. It was all so idyllic.
I returned a few days later with a partner. Service was erratic, but still friendly. We had coffee and eggs. In a classic manoeuvre of self-deception (no meat being healthier…don’t question my flawed logic!), I chose the lean green eggs – dukkah poached eggs with spinach and a side of creamy labnah and hommus. I scoffed it down pretty quickly. Gosh, I do love homemade hommus.
The SLR-wielding freak had the ‘bada bing’ eggs – poached eggs, prosciutto, spicy napoli and rocket. Rocking my street cred by taking good photos, harumph.
Like a food magpie, I was lured by their adorable cakes and goodies at the front counter and left on both occasions with a chocolate muffin with silver cachous (which tasted every bit as delicious as it looked), and some other plummy unnameable thing as a treat for the bestie.
The cafe is deceptively large – both indoor and out. There is a lovely, spacious garden outside and a few tables on the pavement. If you’re in the area, you should definitely visit. It’s a very sleepy looking part of town that is either Thornbury or West Preston, as discussed at the beginning. Next time I’m too lazy to go into the city and its environs for decent brunch action, I shall remember Pearl Oyster is not too far a drive, and if game, I might try pushbiking out to it. Do take note that they only accept cash which may pose an inconvenience to some.
I’ve read mixed reviews of Pearl Cafe so good to hear that you had a positive experience. I like the look of the lean green eggs – perhaps I’ll take my bike out there one day too.Jetsetting Joyce
@jetsettingjoyce I think it’s excellent for the area, but yes, sadly those who are closer to the city can probably think of a dozen such places – and better ones at that. However, it’s definitely worth a visit!