One of my favourite things about travelling in Asia is their delicious approach to breakfast. Curries, spicy sambal, fish and grilled meats are all on the menu and pack a delicious flavour punch that help get the day started. Turns out I’m not the only one feeling the love for Asian breakfasts, it’s the hottest new trend taking Melbourne’s brunch scene by storm.
Many cafes and brunch venues are introducing dishes with Asian inspired flavours onto their menus as an interesting alternative to the now ubiquitous ‘Avo on toast’ that has become de rigueur of late. But none have embraced it as authentically and creatively as Magic Mountain Saloon in Melbourne’s Little Collins St. Magic Mountain Saloon is a buzzing bar and restaurant in the evening serving inspired Thai cuisine with a modern Australian influence, but luckily for those of us who aren’t night owls, they open at 7am for breakfast too.
I was recently invited along with a group of local food bloggers to sample their latest Asian brunch offering for Spring – Magic Mountain’s Boozy Brunch. Now I’m not one to hit the hard stuff before lunchtime, but on this occasion I made an exception because I love a good Bloody Mary.
Their regular breakfast menu is extensive and is heavily influenced by Thailand’s 24 hour food culture where any meal can be eaten at any time of the day depending on what you feel like. You’ll find dishes like Sticky Pork & Shrimp Rice, Roti Bread with Grilled Banana & Condensed Milk and Coconut & Lime Chicken Noodle Soup just to name a few.
The new Boozy Brunch menu offers more share style dishes with a cocktail included. We sampled dishes created for the event that showcased some of the flavours that Magic Mountain Saloon is all about.
The food was delicious, just the right balance of spicy, savoury and sweet that I enjoy in Thai food. The flavours were authentic and the presentation stunning. The atmosphere was convivial, just like brunch should be, although I’m sure the cocktails helped that along. They also have an extensive mocktail offering if alcohol is not your thing.
Here are my highlights:
Smoked Trout & Pomelo Deviled Eggs – what a mouthful of joy! I’ll certainly try to recreate these at home. The pomelo (grapefruit) was he perfect tangy, but not too sweet counter balance to the smokey trout. I love the kitschiness of the humble deviled egg, but somehow these have been elevated to much, much more.
Roasted Swiss Browns with Chilli Mushroom Fritto Misto – Vegans and veggos will love this offering. The earthy depth of the Swiss Browns topped with spicy crunchy mushrooms are just perfection. Did somebody say Umami?
BBQ Pork Belly with Hot Sauce on Fairy Toast – This pork belly was tender and sticky with just the right amount of perfectly rendered fat. The hot sauced packed a punch that had me downing my Mango Catalina cocktail a little too quickly, but it was good! Turns out Fairy toast is not related to fairy bread with sprinkles, but a brioche like bread made with condensed milk, very light and sweet.
There was also pork and prawns on skewers that came accompanied by very delicious sauces, and to finish off the meal Chinese doughnuts with Turmeric Lattes.
Due to my aversion to cloves, the Turmeric Lattes were not my cup of tea (actually I would have preferred a cup of tea), but I’m glad I tried one to see what all the fuss was about. Everyone is going mad for them lately in Instagram.
And speaking of Instagram, eating out with food bloggers is an interesting affair, cameras and phones everywhere. A famous food photographer once said to me, ‘The camera eats before we do’ and it was certainly the case with this crew. Here are some behind the scenes shots:
Magic Mountain Saloon undoubtedly has one of Melbourne’s best Asian brunch (and cocktail) offerings, mark it down on your must visit list. But just a word of advice, catch the tram if you are opting for the boozy option, those fruity cocktails can really sneak up on you.
62 LITTLE COLLINS ST,
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
03 9078 0078
PIN FOR LATER