The only thing I don’t like about Friends of Mine is the annoying music that starts playing on their website when you open it up. Nobody likes quirky music except hipsters… Well, I suppose they get a fair amount of these types in the place, so they are just going with their demo…
Although, I keep expecting to see this guy here too, if it is a hipster mecca…
So, now that we have established that I am threatened by youth culture, we can move on to the food review…
Friends of Mine holds a special place in Sonia and my life. We had our wedding reception there when it was a Channel 9 restaurant called “Cracklins”. Once Daryl Sommers stopped going there, it practically died overnight. The next iteration was an Indian restaurant called “Fuzion” – funky name for an Indian place right – really says “great Indian”…
Interestingly enough, the Indian Cricket team were regulars here when in town. A little known fact the owner didn’t really feel the need to publicise… Food was great, if a little limited. It was sad to see the waiting staff get a little more desperate each time we would go in. Needless to say, we usually had the place to ourselves.
Even though we lived just around the corner, I never once received anything more than a photocopied menu in the post box once or twice a year – not the most interesting way to get people there. Why they wouldn’t just put out an offer of a free glass of wine with a main course for locals was beyond me. People round here love something for free, and at least it would get some bums on seats…
The last time we went in, the waitress was suggesting it was the location…
So the next iteration was a breakfast and lunch cafe called “Friends of Mine”. Unless you get there at 8.30am for when the doors open, there might be a short wait to get a table. They are pumping from opening to closing, most days.
The offer is simple – they have what people want. Good coffee, great menu.
As soon as it opened, it was busy. Chockers. The owners must be sleeping on a massive pile of cash and ferraris every night.
Seems like there was nothing wrong with the location, after all.
So, Tips for Friends of Mine are :
1. If you get there in time, try and hook into the single table with two high back chairs. You can feel like you are in a Downton Abbey episode sitting there!
2. Order your coffees as soon as you are seated. When they bring your coffees, order the food. Service can be a little variable at times. Never bad, but they are busy, so it is good to keep things moving if you can. When they bring your food, order another coffee.
3. The outside tables are on an uneven surface, so avoid them, if possible.
4. Inside can get a bit noisy at 9.30am Saturday and Sunday morning – when it is full.
There are no duds on the menu, but be prepared for some pretty rich stuff. The “folded” eggs on toast have fetta piled on top – making it a must to have some water to get through it. Delicious, but hard to finish. Even for me! The Cheese on Toast is also a standout, but completing the task by oneself is a challenge. This is typical of a lot of the cooked stuff.
The Eggs Benedict are fantastic, but again, are smothered in Hollandaise. The food is all sourced from some cow on the side of hill facing south which is only fed organic hay from some place that sounds cool and massaged by the farmer on alternate tuesdays. Every dish seems to have some sort of provenance story behind it – and as any marketer will assure you – making it all that more delicious!
The muesli etc is less on the extravagant side, and is quite good, so I have been told. Never touch the stuff myself if I am having brekky out. There is a high level of attention to detail – I love these little milk bottles that come with the muesli.
The toasted piadinis (still not quite sure what a piadini is – is it a roll, a foccacia, or something else? – when did bread get so fancy?) are pretty good. If you get the chips as a side, make sure you get the garlic aioli to dunk them in. The mains are very good – but it just doesn’t feel like a main course kind of place.
In conclusion, put your clark kent, non prescription glasses, a funky flannel, recycled jeans, and a pair of shoes you found at an op shop whilst travelling to Machu Picchu and enjoy your breakfast or brunch.