Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
After months of weekly travel to Melbourne, I’ve become heartily sick of the usual cafe fare for breakfast. It got to the point where I was just craving a simple bowl of muesli with milk and a dollop of yoghurt. But of course, with nowhere to store a box of muesli, that option isn’t available to me (with the irony being that even if I bought a box of muesli every day, it would still be cheaper than having breakfast at a cafe… but I digress).
On the hunt for more innovative breakfast fare, I happened upon a place called the Magic Mountain Saloon. Even the name is super creative, bringing to mind a cross between Disney (must be because of Space Mountain) and the Wild West. Cool Thai-Australian fusion restaurant/bar by night, the Magic Mountain Saloon belongs to that rare breed of restaurants that also open in the morning for breakfast. And what a breakfast it is.
The first time I went, I ordered the baked eggs with pork belly ($18.50). This is not your average baked eggs dish. Bits of pork belly and smoked eggplant are covered in a tangy, spicy tomato sauce, covered with whipped eggs so it forms a custard rather than your traditional sauce-poached egg, and then topped with a mountain of crispy Thai basil leaves. It’s served with what can only be described as a hunk of light as air bread and a basket of condiments – I’m delighted to discover that my favourite pickled green chillies are on offer, and that they go perfectly with the dish. Halfway through the meal, I am already feeling full, but am determined to finish the dish. I didn’t eat lunch until 3pm, and even then I only had a light soup.
On my next visit, I ordered one of their stuffed rotis ($16.50). It came with a pair of scissors, and I am advised to cut them into strips and use my hands rather than the utensils. Considering that if I were eating roti at home, I would just tear it up with my hands anyway, this is a step up. I am less blown away by this dish – while the flavour is spot on, with the right balance of salty and tangy, the roti just isn’t crispy enough to make it a standout. But it’s definitely different from your average breakfast or brunch food!
62 Little Collins St
Open Monday to Friday, 7am – 3am, and Saturday and Sunday 8am – 3am.
Bookings are available for 2-hour slots.
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