Nora doesn’t feel like a cafe. With a bright, white and minimally decorated entry, with just the few pops of colour here and there, you might think you’re in some gorgeous homeware retail shop instead of an eatery.
Even the menu is accompanied with a ‘look book’, that provides blown up macro shots of the food, and tiny little previews of what the dish might look like. It’s like as if food and fashion met each other and had a baby.
I visited Nora with a couple of colleagues before heading into work, and the 5 of us quickly occupied most of the small cafe, which had quite limited seating. Would definitely recommend keeping your numbers low if you're intending to visit, you might not fit otherwise!
The small menu made it quite easy to order since many of us were there; we almost got one of everything!
Although there was no chai latte to be had (they had run out!), everything was okay when I got to know their House Breakfast tea, with ceylon, red poppy petals, chamomile, lavender and blue cornflower petals. Not just beautifully presented in it’s glass teapot, but I instantly fell in love with this tea that was so floral and sweet on the nose, which also translated to the palate. Just stunning. One of the best teas I’ve encountered this year!
For breakfast, I decided to try the lightly smoked and jasmine cured salmon, with young coconut, nashi and nasturtium. This wasn’t a plate, this was a work of art! A gorgeous array of colours and textures, it was a lovely light and bright start to the day, although I must say I probably could have used a little bit more salmon to bulk up the meal for me.
The bacon dish with onion consomme, rice, pickles and corn smelt amazing when it was popped down, although I thought it was surprisingly modest in size for breakfast, although it did look like my colleagues who ordered it had solid thick cut chunks of bacon underneath the garnish.
I had quite a bit of food envy at my friend who got the ‘Flakes’, with polenta, wild rice, quinoa, crystallised nut and milk. She struggled to finish the serve, and when I chomped on it, I just loved the nuttiness and all the crunchy and varied textures throughout the dish. Definitely what I would order next time!
I did feel a little sorry fro my friend who ordered the ‘Flour, Water and Salt’ dish, although it sounds awesome on paper, sourdough with semi churned butter, chicken liver parfait and jam, it is a very tiny looking serve. I guess once eaten, it is probably enough for one person for breakfast, but on presentation alone, it’s a little bit sad looking.
Nora is definitely not your average cafe, I would never bring Brad here as I highly doubt he would be full enough from any of the dishes he would be likely to order, and would never likely order the dishes that would fill him up (like the Flakes). If you want wholesome, comforting breakfast food, I would not recommend Nora for you. However, if you are looking to have something different from the usual Melbourne scene (like I frequently am these days), Nora definitely pushes your breakfast boundaries and dishes up something a little bit different.
Plus that tea was amazing. That and I missed out on charcoal tarts because we were in for breakfast!
156 Elgin Street