Elceed, on Queensberry Street in North Melbourne, has been rather overlooked by me as a brunch spot. I’ve been once or twice, but always seem to opt for Auction Rooms or Di Bella for weekend brunch. This past weekend my partner suggested Elceed for our post yoga brunch and I was pleasantly surprised. Elceed earns its place in the brunch capital of Melbourne, here’s why:
This lesser known spot is small, warm and very hipster. Walking in the front door, there’s a counter to the right with sweets like gluten free mandarin and rhubarb cake and old fashioned rum balls on display. Heading further in is a dining space with suitably mismatched furniture. There’s also a funky garden area out the back replete with quirky pot plants, though no-one was sitting out there when we visited since it was a typical rainy Melbourne morning.
Several tables sport adorable terrariums with tiny plastic animal figures inside them. Terrariums are just about as cute and hipster as it gets right now and I love them. Google terrariums in Melbourne or check out petitegreen.com.au to see the kind of thing I mean…I think I might have to buy one for our new place.
That’s right! I haven’t mentioned this yet, but we’re moving. Happily the new apartment is even closer to Errol street, so my brunch tradition is happily assured. It’s very exciting in some ways, but a massive cardboard box-filled pain in other ways.
But I digress, back to Elceed. The staff are friendly and give you a realistic assessment of wait time for a table (2 mins for us, yay!). The place smells like eggs and bacon, something which would particularly delight bacon lovers like my partner. The menu is quite extensive, though perhaps there are not as many sweet options as I would like. There’s also a few specials on the blackboard. We both opted for specials – the spicy baked eggs with fetta and couscous and the poached eggs with baba ganoush, dukka and a side of bacon. Both were excellent. My baked eggs were spicy, but not too much so and the couscous was soft and full of tomato-y flavour. My eggs were baked quite hard, as I’d told the waitress that I hate runny eggs. They were topped with nice creamy fetta and just a small handful of fresh rocket, giving the whole thing a vibrant and healthy feel. The poached eggs were beautifully cooked and the bacon a lean cut, making us two happy campers.
The coffee is ‘decent’ according to my partner, though (I felt) a little slow to arrive. I’d snuck in a cheeky chai at Di Bella beforehand, since my yoga class had been cancelled, so didn’t order any drinks at Elceed. Finally, at the end of the meal I ordered a rum ball, since I am, after all, a massive sweet-tooth. It was nicely presented on a floral saucer with two tiny forks (as if I was sharing it!). However, it was quite dry and frankly, a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent experience. Happily too, even though they were quite busy, we were not hurried from our table, but allowed to linger and read The Age, which is not something you always get at other, more popular, North Melbourne cafes.
This visit has definitely inspired me to mix it up a little and try to include a few other cafes in my weekend brunch roster.