Sunday, 16 February 2014

Little Tommy Tucker, Bentleigh

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Little Tommy Tucker is a small popular cafe in the Bentleigh area, just across the road from Bentleigh Station, about a fifteen to twenty minute train ride on the Frankston line from Richmond Station. I decided to visit this cafe because a friend and I wanted to check out the Bentleigh markets just next to the station, and this seemed to be quite a popular place in the area. Overall I was happy with the quality of food and service at Little Tommy Tucker, though its menu on the more simpler side compared to a lot of other cafes around Melbourne.

We had to wait about fifteen minutes for a table when we went around 10:30am on a Sunday; the place was bustling with people either eating in or just grabbing a coffee and pastry, and had a good lively atmosphere to it. The interior design of the cafe is quite simple, with a lot of wooden panels and plain white walls, giving it a modern look and the feel of open space. Despite the tables being placed quite close to each other, we didn't actually feel very cramped and squashed. The music playing in the background was quite loud, and we found that even between two of us, we had to raise our voices just to hear each other over other people talking, as well as the music itself. The staff were friendly, coming to refill our water multiple times and taking our plates quite quickly after we finished eating.



The weekend menu is quite simple and has a small range of breakfast and lunch dishes, but it does also cater for children, with a section of the menu focused on dishes for smaller kids. We decided to order Folded Cheesy Eggs ($16) and Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs ($18), as well as an ice coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice ($7). My friend thought the ice coffee was good; it wasn't too sweet even with the ice cream on top, and had a good strong coffee flavour that wasn't too strong or weak. My orange juice was quite refreshing, though it felt a bit watered down and not as sweet as OJ I've had at other cafes. I also thought it was a bit pricier than most places, where the average price for a freshly squeezed juice is around $6-6.50, and there wasn't anything particularly spectacular about this juice.


The folded cheesy eggs also came with chorizo and a herb salad, on two slices of toast. Overall the dish was good, though the folded eggs felt more like scrambled eggs as they weren't actually folded, and there was inconsistency with some parts of the eggs a lot cheesier than others, like it hadn't been mixed properly. This made the cheesier parts quite strong in flavour, though this was nicely balanced out by the spicy and heavier flavours of the chorizo, together with the herb salad. The salad itself also had good flavours, though was quite dry as there was very little dressing on it. The slices of bread were lovely and soft, though the crusts were extremely tough to cut into and chew, and quite burnt as well.


The salmon scrambled eggs came with a creme fraiche and a pickled cucumber and radish salad, served on toasted rye. Overall the dish was good, but my friend thought it was a bit simple, considering the price that it charged, since it was just scrambled eggs with salmon and a salad on the side. If there was another element to the dish, it could've made it a lot better, such as a side of avocado or mushrooms or something of the like. There were good flavours though, and you could taste the salmon well within the scrambled eggs, though it would've been good to have a bit more salmon in the dish itself. The cucumber and radish salad was quite refreshing and balanced the heavier egg flavours well, but my friend found that the creme fraiche didn't really go with the dish, and could've done without it.


As I mentioned above, Little Tommy Tucker adopts a simple menu with basic ingredients, and for the most part, they do this quite well. Perhaps I have been more accustomed to eating at cafes who add different combinations and ingredients that you might not expect together, so this cafe felt a bit plain in contrast. However, it's not to say it was bad; the experience was still good except for the loud music, and if you're looking for brunch places that aren't filled with fancy and more adventurous ingredients and combinations, then this would be a great place to visit.

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