Food bloggers can be such a bad influence sometimes.
Or well, not sometimes, more like, all the time!
I already, on my own, have a big enough list of restaurants I want to visit, but of course constantly being in the twittersphere and blogsphere means I'm always exposed to even more places that I may not have thought of visiting or new places that might have just opened that I may not have heard of!
I went to high school right across from Replete Providore (yes I was a private school kid...), but in all my years of living 5-10 minutes away from the cafe, I had never visited. For some reason it never came about to my attention. Again, that argument that the grass always looks greener on the other side seems to crop up for me...
Until of course, twitter randomly got all excited about it, organizing bloggers to visit one Saturday morning.
I was unfortunately busy that Saturday and unable to go with them, but because all I could think about were trying their corn fritters that entire week as everyone raved on about how famously good they supposedly were, I decided to drag Brad with me that weekend and get in before everyone else. Haha!
Replete Providore is cute little corner building, playing the roles of cafe, caterer and food store, with a selection of cute jams, teas, take home salads and sweets available to buy and enjoy at home.
Which is just as well as it's a tiny little cafe, with a number of small tables, often filled with mother's and kids.
Brad and I managed to nab a nice little table by the window, which also happened to be right next to the shelf of products as well...hence no interior shots. Sorry!
Brad's latte and my chai latte. I really enjoyed the chai latte here, took a little bit of time to come out, but had a really nice tea base, with spices, rather than being a sweet powder. Not as spicy as some chai latte's I've had, but warming and comfortable.
Brad ordered the Replete vegetarian breakfast (he loves his big breakkie's...) with poached eggs, roasted tomato, field mushrooms a hash brown, spinach, baked beans and of course, some sourdough bread. I loved how bright and cheery the dish looked, the spinach was a lovely fresh looking colour.
The thing that really surprised me on his dish was the hash brown. I personally expect my hashbrowns to be grated potato, moulded together and fried, you know what I'm all talking about. But Replete's hash browns....are totally different. A perfectly thin and crisp exterior gives way to a soft, fluffy and absolutely delicious texture inside. So moreish. So, so so, moreish. Specks of pepper, or something similar provided a slight contrast in texture to the soft, almost mash-like potatoes. It's just as well they only give you a small portion or you would very likely just fill up on potatoes and not eat anything else...although that's not a bad idea either...
I'd definitely recommend ordering this on the side of whatever else you order...if it doesn't already come with it that is!
I on the other hand, went straight for the big guns and ordered the famous corn fritters. With the option of having them with smoked salmon, a poached egg and a tomato-chilli relish or instead with crispy Istra bacon, tomato and avocado salsa, chutney, sweet chilli and sour cream, I went for the latter.
Which so far has been one of the better decisions I have ever made in my life.
Maybe exaggerating a tiny bit, but with good reason. These corn fritters have every reason to be famous and well known. Two corn fritters, both almost the size of the plate, had an absolutely deliciously corny (hurr hurr) flavour to them. Although not completely packed out with corn, I think the fritters must have been bound with corn flour or maybe they blended corn into the mix...(look, I don't cook, I'm trying my best here to suss it out) as they were a beautiful yellow colour through and through, with a touch of herbs. Seasoned so well. The texture was almost more akin to a cake!
The bacon was also just beautiful, they had a mix of lovely meaty strips and some thinner, crunchier ones, perfect for that touch of saltiness. The sweet chilli lovingly and generously drizzled was such a beautiful touch, giving that perfect mix of sweet but still savoury. It somehow makes me think of mexico. Or something. Must be the avocado (guacamole etc. etc.).
Gosh, I just fell in love with the whole combination. It was just magic. MAGIC. I want to explain more, but you'll really just have to taste it to believe it. I mean, doesn't it just look beautiful?
So filling it was though, I actually couldn't stomach all of it! Brad berated me for being a bad food blogger. Boo.
I have actually returned since and, against generic blogger rules, re-ordered the fritters, this time without camera in tow and on a weekday. I found that my fritters were a little smaller than I expected and the bacon not as well cooked as last time, but the flavour profile was still there. Although I sadly completely demolished my fritters a lot faster than I did previously.
So maybe a slight consistency issue there, but I would come back any day for this mix. I might consider getting the combination with salmon next time....but the bacon and sour cream is too much to go past I think and has already completely and totally won my heart over.
302 Barkers RdHawthorn, 3122