I may have borrowed the "you can't beat Wellington on a good day" for Sydney a couple of blog posts ago, and while Melbourne on a warm, fine, Spring day is pretty nice - Melbourne on a grey, sometimes drizzling day is spectacular. It's as if this city was made to glow under the diffused light of rain clouds.
Ora's breakfast hit my broad bean spot...
...and is bound to hit any number of spots you might have in your food-heart and your breakfast-stomach too.
Ora had been accurately described as "small". The cafe was spilling out into Pakington Street with people wanting to put their names on the list, and those waiting to be seated. My name went on the list while others changed their minds about waiting and those who decided to take their breakfasts "to go" making it an easy 15 minute wait until Nick, Ben and I got our seats. We parked ourselves at the outside bench table betting against the rain for at least the time it would take for us to have breakfast.
My very first impressions of Ora, after the "holy cow, this place is packed" was of the graciousness, and gracefulness, of the staff. The woman taking names and approximating wait-times was spot on with her estimations, and so very pleasant and unflustered dispite the recent inundation of people wanting to eat on a Saturday morning. Our waitress didn't keep us waiting long and was perfectly caffeinated and playful as she gave us each a menu returning to deliver our coffees, and take our orders back to the kitchen.
Everything on the menu was appealing. The pancakes, the black pudding, the hash. I was on the verge of ordering pancakes when I changed my mind. Thankfully, Ben ordered them so I could get to see how great they looked, and Nick and I each ordered the ricotta and broad bean mash with mint and a soft egg.
The food arrived in a timely manner and looked gorgeous on thelarge, white platters. We all stopped talking - we'd been chattering about this and that, flitting and firing with perculated conversation. Ben got stuck into his gorgeous stack of pancakes and blueberries while I yummed and ahhed my way through the combination of the sweetness and freshness of my broad bean mash. I have no idea what Nick was doing, I was far too busy eating.
My breakfast was absolutely delicious, and exactly the right size. The creamy ricotta was the cool foil to vibrant green mash with the oozy yellow yoke of the egg giving every mouthful a wonderfully silky texture. I was transported with every bite and while satisfied, rather sad that I'd come to the end of my breakfast with the empty white platter smeared with the memories of the food it had delivered a undeterminable number of minutes before.
I looked up to see that both guys had cleaned their plates too. Did we inhale that food? How long was I eating? it was as if time had stopped; I was so in the "now" with my broad beans, nothing else had mattered until the continuum was restored by that vast empty plate.
They didn't rush us off. The number of people wanting seats had dissapated and we casually chatted while drinking second cups of coffee. The bill was reasonable and Ora allows bill splitting which is wonderful. The heavens opened up after they kept their promise to save themselves until after breakfast and we spalshed home in the rain, a thoroughly wonderful Saturday morning at Ora, in Kew.
Ora:156 Pakington Street, Kew, VIC 3101.
Great coffee, superb food, outstanding service.