Ever since I turned foodie, my liking for all things vintage has soared through the roof, to the point where I wanted my whole house decorated with ancient furnishings and decorations collected from op shops and junk yards. I loved everything with peeling paint and rusty metals and rustic wood that had been worn with old age. Too bad it’s not something Yuye likes or can even appreciate, calling my collection ‘old crap’.
I’m sure some of you will understand me.
I’m also in love with dining at similarly rustic establishments. Maybe that’s why I love brunch/coffee places so much since so many of them have such decor these days. I was so excited when I visited The Green Refectory in Brunswick the other week since it’s been on my wish list for quite some time.
I know, you can call me crazy, but I loved their driftwood looking tables and mismatched chairs that I asked Yuye ‘is it bad if I bought mismatched chairs for our dining room?’ I’m sure I don’t need to tell you his answer. But it is true that I love the look. I’m also hyperventilating looking at the above photo right now…I want everything on that shelf!
I also loved the back alley and flower pots on the walls. If the weather was a bit warmer, I would have preferred to sit outside to enjoy that lovely atmosphere. It somehow makes me feel more alive.
The dishes on offer was quite extensive and was all written on a board at the front counter. It was a bit overwhelming having to decide while staring at so many words and while standing up too.
I settled for the Eggs Benedict with grilled tomato and ham. At just $10, I thought it was great value. The portion size was quite good too and looked and smelt lovely. Although not the best looking poached eggs I’ve seen, the egg yolk was perfectly runny and the hollandaise was creamy and delicious. The grilled tomatoes came on a third piece of muffin which was thoughtful and made the dish quite a lot large than usual.
Yuye ordered the breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, ham, mushroom, tomato and fresh herbs in a tortilla wrap topped with a whole lot of cheese. All this for $10 as well? It’s insane! I did find the contents of the wrap slightly mushed up and didn’t look as pretty when I cut into it and it was slightly watery and a tiny bit on the bland side, but still quite an enjoyable dish.
As we were not expecting such large dishes, even with our combined effort, we could not totally finish the burrito. All that cheese and eggs really filled me up quick, which was a shame.
What I was a little bit disappointed with was their coffees. I was expecting a strong, aromatic hit but unfortunately the taste of the coffees didn’t leave much impact at all. The reason, I think, was that they use Illy coffee beans which are pre-roasted and ground. Leaving beans out for a while makes the aromas go away and subsequently makes not as nice coffees.
If you’re not feeling too hungry, there is also the option of ordering one of the delicious looking cakes at the front counter. It was too bad I was already way too full for those…
The waitstaff here were very young. I had read reviews about the supposed bad service here so didn’t have high expectations but they were all quite friendly and I didn’t feel at all like they were snobbish. The only downside was the fact that we had to line up to order at the counter, which at busy times, I can see how this can be annoying and of course the less than optimum coffee experience. The cafe was also a bit too cramped so movement between tables were hindered. Other than that the food was value for money, tasty and the decor was inviting so for the food alone, I would come back again if I was in the neighbourhood.
Question time: Do you like collecting vintage items and visiting rustic cafes like this? Or are you like Yuye and consider vintage things ‘junk’?
The Green Refectory
Phone: (03) 9387 1150
115 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC 3056