Ellery & Co – Breakfast
Ahh Ellery & Co. The last of the promised “good” cafes in my local area I had yet to try.
It looked lovely on approach. Lovely fittings, a cosy front room (in an old butcher’s shop) and the tables were laid out well for the space. Quirky water bottles and quality cutlery and crockery, also a win. Importantly – there wasn’t a 20 minute wait for a table. The people around seemed to be having a good time, and a ratio of one toddler per 15 adults was promising.
I’d just like to say, before we proceed any further, that I don’t consider this to be a negative review, more so a mediocre one. Other reviews of Ellery and Co (namely this one) share similar (yet not exact) views to mine, so I wanted to clarify that I have tried to put forth a fair and balanced review based on my personal experience. Granted I’ve had far worse experiences – but this doesn’t give Ellery and Co any saving graces for not quite hitting the mark nor should it force me to bin my review because it’s not particularly glowing – as suggested the cowardly anonymous commenters on the blog linked above.
Where shall we begin? 11am on a Sunday morning and the service was sloppy. The cafe was full, but the waiters were certainly not moving at any great speed. Especially not to clean the dirty table next to me, which remained uncleared for so long after a new table sat down I was tempted to get up and do it myself. Or to give anyone a menu when they sat, or take a coffee order. Or offer a second coffee when delivering a meal. Or clear away the cop from the first coffee. A bit slack really.
The brunch/lunch menu was uninspired (and grammatically challenged) – a nod to top producers listed on the menu (Tom Cooper, Fratelli Galloni) indicating a commitment to high quality produce yet the inclusion of truffle oil on a scrambled egg dish puzzled.
More substantial meals than “eggs any way” (of no specific origin) lean towards the Italian. A classic gnocchi with Napoli and basil, or a crumbed veal schnitzel sandwich from the lunch menu sound simple yet appealing (I might head back for it next weekend).
Breakfast options are stock standard. I wanted to ask a few questions, namely ‘where do you get your eggs and bread from’ but the staff looked so listless I couldn’t summon the enthusiasm to call them to the table.
My croque monsieur ($13) – not particularly traditional with leg ham, seeded mustard, gruyere and ‘roclette’ (sic) - was delicious, generous with the cheese and ham, and crunchy thin cut bread a winning combination. The side salad of rocket and cornichons attempted to cut through the grease of the cheese – however a drenching of oil derailed this intent. A croque madame is also available, with the addition of a fried egg.
While waiting for it to arrive I read The Age (and it’s accompanying M Magazine and Sunday Life Magazine) and unfortunately, also the Herald Sun. No breakfast should take this long to arrive – especially not a toasted cheese sandwich. The coffee was average, and nothing more.
I am disappointed yes – there are limited options for Hawthorn locals and I was hoping Ellery & Co would live up to it’s reputation. However, with their biggest let down being inconsistent performance from staff I can only (hopefully) imagine a different day’s service could have elicited a different verdict, yet I cannot keep returning to play service roulette on the off chance of improvement.
Ellery and Co is open 7 days for breakfast and lunch, Wednesday – Saturday for dinner. 46 Church Street Hawthorn. (03) 9853 3533. No website that I could find.
Haalo blogged about his dinner experiences at Ellery and Co here, and his breakfast experiences here. After reading Haalo’s reviews I am keen to head to Ellery and Co for dinner as a comparison study. Stay tuned.
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011 at 4:57 pm and is filed under Breakfast., Hawthorn, Lunch. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.