Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dave's not here, man, but luckily Fergus is

Venue: Fergus Cafe
Style: Breakfast/Brunch, European, Latin
Address: 301 Wattletree Road, Malvern East [Google Maps]
Phone: (03) 9509 8351
Hours: Mon-Fri 7.00am - 4.00pm / Sat-Sun 8.00am - 4.00pm
Prices: Snacks $4-7 / Mains $9-16
Bookings: No

Sweet pumpkin pancakes w/ toasted pepitas, spiced coffee cream, syrup

Without being able to explain why, 'Fergus' sounds to me like an affectionate nickname for a stoner. A rigorous 12 seconds on Wikipedia reveals that the name is of Old Irish origins and means 'virility,' which is fitting, as residents of Malvern now have a compelling reason to get up in the morning.

Coming by way of Chapel St's seductive Eau de Vie, Fergus' owner has designed a menu with Latin and Mediterranean influences and - at last! - some original breakfast offerings for those of us who would like to try something other than avocado and hollandaise.

The interior design of white tiles with blue accents, industrial fixtures and pop art sounds like the makings of a confused-looking bathroom, but the effect is a bright, glossy space set off with lovely details, such as the house-made nougat wrapped in paper atop a bountiful glass case of caramel slice, croissants and other delectable means of developing cavities.

Treats made in-house: muffins and nougat

Short macchiato, coffee roasted by the Maling Room

Apparently, the coffee is roasted by the Maling Room - call me a philistine if you will, but that doesn't mean a whole lot to me, as I've not drunk enough coffee to be able to taste a roaster's distinctive approach (it seems nowadays that everything requires tasting, beer, tea...a conspiracy of  enterprising sommeliers?). I do drink short macchiatos however and they're usually overextracted. This one is satisfying, smooth and hot.

J kindly offers me a taste of his big breakfast of poached eggs with chilli jam, smashed avocado, spinach, bacon and chorizo. The sausage is the highlight, with lots of smoke, particularly after the disappointment of the Bratwurst masquerading as chorizo at the Latin Festival on Johnston St.

Poached eggs, chilli jam, chorizo, bacon, spinach, smashed avocado

I order the sweet pumpkin pancakes on the basis that they are the chef's signature dish and that I have never seen them on a menu before. They take a little more time to arrive than I'd expected, but I'll wait for them again if I must: they are so soft they melt away in my mouth, the pepitas countering with their crunchy texture. Spiced coffee cream is an inspired condiment, although it virtually melts as soon as it touches the hot pancakes. It's a rich, simple, aromatic dish and it's all I need to know what Fergus is about.

Granted, I'll be back to establish what the pulled pork roll on the lunch menu is all about.

Fergus Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. That chorizo does look nice. I'm really only into a "big breakfast" occasionally, but that last pic I could definitely go for.

    I’d probably be worried about the sweet pumpkin pancakes being too sweet (especially considering how much of it there is), but then I’m sure they’re probably fine.

    By your photos and description, the place looks like it knows exactly what it is. I think I'll take a look. Thanks.