• Still waiting at Friends of Mine

506 Swan St
Richmond 3121
03 9428 7516

What has happened to brunch?  Three Bags Full, Replete Providore, and (as I discovered) Friends of Mine have brought an acceptance of queuing at trendy brunch-time locations.

Arriving at this large establishment at 11:30am on Saturday, I noticed how most of the clientele were south-of-the-river glamazons, a term someone had introduced me to at drinks the other weekend, which doesn’t really make sense in this instance as we were North of the river.

We put our name on the list for a table and were told that the wait would be fifteen minutes.  Twenty-five minutes later, we were finally seated.

The interior of this popular locale is cool.  Its deconstructed finishes on the walls give it a relaxed and artistic vibe while random signs are placed just as randomly.  I am reminded to wear safety glasses.

We ordered quickly, hungry at this stage, and were glad our coffees soon arrived.

The coffee was delicious, beautifully presented and strong with a intensely roasted flavour. 

The food was less timely.  Fifty minutes after ordering, it had still not arrived and we were questioning what was happening.  By this stage I was over-hungry to the point of delusion and grumpiness.  Even at a place as popular as this, 25 minutes wait for a table then 50 minutes wait for food is unacceptable.  If it had been anywhere else we would have complained and left.  Instead we continued to wait, not wanting to waste the time we had already invested.

Smashed avocado and fetta is now common-place.  This dish had the extra of thyme mushrooms and I also elected for a poached eggs on top.  The egg was perfectly cooked.  The mushrooms were not strongly flavoured with thyme but had a tang like white wine.  The fresh basil on top went well.  The bread was a standout, with a fluffy, toasted texture and seeds on the crust.  I was inspired to make something similar on Sunday but also added lime juice and more fresh basil. 

The food was good, but I was so hungry by the time it arrived that anything would have been appreciated.

The bonuses of Friends of Mine are its location and the coffee.  The detractors are the wait (obviously) and the inability for menu changes on the weekend.  Luckily there are a couple of vegetarian options, but with all the meals standardised, this place needs to get up to speed to deserve the crowd that it’s drawing.

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