Living near South Yarra and the thriving Chapel St & Toorak Rd brunch scene is both a gift and a curse. There’s always some new trendy café to try, some delicious meal to scoff, and then there’s the fact that my complete lack of willpower around a good poached egg means I’ll never be a size 8. But with gems like Tom Dick & Harry on offer, I’m completely fine with that.
The old ball-and-chain (tehe) and I went out this morning to check out a top rated café on Zomato within walking distance from my place and had to choose between Einstein’s Relative, Two Birds One Stone, Drugstore Espresso, and Tom Dick & Harry. We chose that latter because it had ‘dick’ in the name, but we’re totally not juveniles.
We decided to sit outside because the weather was quite nice, so took a seat on the bench on the sidewalk. As the café is very small and narrow, the only outdoor seating options are the 8 bench seats facing the road on the footpath, but it’s totally fine because the footpath is wide enough to accommodate this. We let the staff know we were taking a seat there, and they came over soon after with menus and to take our coffee orders. Lattes all round of course.
The coffees came out quickly, and they were lovely. Liam is a barista so tends to get all judgy when he’s given a crap coffee, but these passed his scrutiny. I wanted to find out where their beans were from as they were really nice. I saw them behind the coffee machine in cute little branded Tom Dick & Harry bags, so I must remember to find out some time if it’s their own roast.
Now look; I’m not saying I’m easy, but when it comes to truffle-anything, I’d probably give up my first-born to try it, so the obvious choice for me was the Creamy Truffle Mushrooms. Liam decided on 2 poached eggs on sourdough with smashed avo & hollandaise sauce. Our orders were taken by a nice chick who let me know the mushies rocked.
The food came out really quickly, and I was impressed by the presentation of both as well as the serving plates, which were the very in-vogue lightly enameled ceramics. Liam’s poached eggs were perfect, the sourdough fresh and perfectly toasted, and the smashed avo plentiful. The only downer was what seemed to be a complete lack of hollandaise, which for those of you out there who love it as much as Liam does, that’s just unacceptable. It looked like there could have been a hint of it on the plate but it had been soaked up by on a portion of the bread, so he went inside to let a waiter know. They gave him a little ramekin of the sauce, and he was a happy man again.
You know when you order something and once it’s been set in front of you, you instantly get that smug “I ordered the best thing” feeling? Yup, I got that. Everything about this dish was perfect. The bread was fantastic, the cherry tomatoes were roasted to the point of being summer-sweet, the egg was spot-on and the mushrooms… Oh, the mushrooms! Not only were there more varieties than any single Woolies store has ever stocked, but there was A LOT of them. And the sauce! So many exclamation marks in one review! The sauce was utter perfection. Also, the photo doesn’t do this meal justice, so I recommend that you just go to Tom Dick & Harry and order it first thing tomorrow. DO IT.
When we were done we went to the counter to pay and were served straight away. The guy behind the counter was a little distracted, and after I had put the pin in the machine to pay by EFTPOS, he just turned about and started doing something else. It said approved, so I just stood there for a sec wondering if we were done or not. He kept doing whatever else it was that had his attention, so I just said thanks and left.
All in all, Tom Dick & Harry ticked all the boxes for me, and Einstein’s Relative, Two Birds One Stone & Drugstore Espresso really have their work cut out for them to top this little gem. The only reason I haven’t given it 5 stars is the hollandaise issue and the odd customer service thing at the end, but I look forward to returning to try the eggs begs with smoked ham and smacked minty peas.