For the longest time, good brunch in the outer Eastern Suburbs was synonymous with Snow Pony. Whenever someone said they were going out for brunch, there was pretty much no need to ask them where they were going, as the answer was either obvious, or probably not worth hearing. Slowly but surely however, cafes have been popping up (like colourful toadstools!) closer to my outer-east ‘hood, and all of a sudden, brunch is no longer synonymous with getting up at 8am on a Sunday.
One of the newest brunch additions to the Eastern suburbs is White Mojo. The second branch of the CBD original, which has been dubbed as real life click-bait. The interior is a bright, minimalistic place that nevertheless manages to feel family friendly, thanks to little touches like the honeycomb patterned walls, and the French bulldog mural splashed opposite the entrance. The staff look adorable in their uniform of white shirts and leather aprons.
Ben Luo, one of the co-owners, takes great pride in his cafe. Having worked previously at the much more traditional Snow Pony, Ben is keen to keep ahead of the current trends. That means breads from Rustica, tailor made coffee blends (made from two processing methods; fully natural and wet-hulled), and of course, the ubiquitous matcha latte.
The light coffee roast is clean and fruity, but not overly acidic, and is a refreshing brew that still carries a rich robustness. The hot chocolate is made using chocolate from Mork, and is a wonderfully sweet and creamy drink.
The Chilli Prawn And Chorizo is an absolute beauty of a dish. The prawns took centre stage; the sous-vide process had rendered them pearly and translucent, whilst infusing them with spices. Accompanied by slices of chorizo, and tender grilled scallops, this dish does pack a little heat, especially if you choose to eat the fresh chillies. Not to worry though, the white beans in yoghurt sauce will fix you right up. This was an indulgent but elegant brunch that wouldn’t look out of place at the dinner table (once you get rid of the toast), but it is quite a light serve so save this for when you plan on having dessert.
Equally as good (and as un-brunch-like) is the standout the salmon tartare. The sashimi-grade fish is plump and fresh, mixed with spicy mayo and creamy dollops of miso avocado puree. The micro herbs and sweet dehydrated onion slivers give the dish some zing. Scoop it up with the bagel crisps, and you have yourself a scrumptious brunch that’s healthy to boot!
Let’s take a moment to wax lyrical about the 63 degree egg served with the tartare. These eggs are slowly and gently cooked in a 63 degree water bath, and the result is a homogenously ooey-gooey egg. For those of you who think poaching is as good as it gets, you need to try these.
The Eton Mess comes on a bed of organic strawberry yoghurt, that seems to grown a garden of feathery meringue shards, fresh berries, freeze-dried fruits, and flower petals, with a few daubs of coconut gel for a hint of that robust nuttiness. This is a breakfast dessert that ticks all the sugary boxes, without any accompanying guilt.
In a part of Melbourne where the brunch scene has only recently begun to bud, White Mojo tears in like a hurricane. Its offerings are imaginative and beautiful, with flavours to match. It is on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the quality of food and service you’re getting.