Posted by - 25 May 2010 - No comments

The European in Melbourne (and we're not talking about me)


On holiday the one meal I always look forward to is breakfast.  Like most of the population I struggle to get up in the morning on most days, but when I'm away from home, and on holiday I'm quite  the opposite creature.  I'm not sure whether it's the smell of freshly ground coffee, baked bread or the promise of eggs cooked any way I want, but on holiday I just spring out of bed - full of beans and ready to face the day.

The only exception is when I've been travelling for days with no sleep.  So it was onlyafter a good night's rest that I sprung out of bed ready for breakfast at The European.


With its dark carvenous interior, wood panelling, black-and-white chequered floor and bistro chairs this Melbourne breakfast stalwart's decor is reminiscient of a Parisan-style bistro.  Even the staff's black attire gives The European a distintly French vibe.  The only thing that tells you that this is not Paris and Melbourne, is the distinctly artsy touches like chairs hanging from the celing and friendly, chatty staff.

We start with a delicous freshly squeezed glass of orange juice.   For a breakfast menu the list is pretty comprehensive, and there are so many dishes to choose from, that after one very good coffee cup later we're ready to order.

Yummy Spanish eggs
The Huevos madrilenos baked eggs, black pudding and chorizo is scrummy and the perfect balance of heat and spice for a breakfast dish.  I especially like the roughly cut chunks of black pudding and chorizo which gave the dish a really warm and homely look and feel.  Rather than a side of crusty bread, I enjoyed these with a side of buttered toasted crumpets rather than bread (weird I know but I'd been craving them for weeks).

The European breakfast
The AB orders the The European breakfast i.e. the full English with a side of black pudding and apple.  He loves his scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes, but the black pudding is clearly a mistake by the look on his face.  He doesn't say it but his mouth spells out "yuck".

Black pudding and apples
I look at the cereal bowl full of black chunks of meat and apple and hazard a mouthful.  And God, it's awful.   Its bland and tastes like liver.   Then there's the issue of it's presentation.  For all my non-British readers black pudding is an accompainment to a traditional cooked breakfast not a meal in itself.  If this is how black pudding is served piled high outside of the UK, it's not a surprise why newbies to the English declicacy may be turned off by the thought of it.  This is certaintly not how we do it in Europe.  And the apples - I can understand why they were added, but they're really tart and just didn't work.

Aside from the sides, the actually breakfast itself is well cooked.  The scrambled eggs were light and fluffy, and it was clear that the bacon was good quality stuff rather than the salty water-injected kind.

Verdict: I loved The European for its buzzy bistro vibe.  It's not the sort of place you'd go with a group, but is fantastic for an intimate tête à tête and a recovery brunch from the night before.

The European on Urbanspoon
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