Proud Mary, Collingwood

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

Proud Mary is one of Melbourne's most popular brunch places, located just off Smith St in Collingwood, near Gelato Messina. It's about a five minute walk from stop 18 on tram 86 towards Bundoora RMIT, with plenty of parking on the street itself as well. It's well known for its extensive drinks range, in particular its coffee, and also a quirky menu that's different from your typical brunch cafes.

As it is such a popular cafe, there's a bit of a wait for a table. We went around 1130 on a Sunday and had to wait about twenty minutes for a table, and it was about that amount time for our food to come as well. There's not a lot of individual tables at Proud Mary. Instead, there's large communal tables and counter tops; we sat at the bar style area, which was actually quite cool as we got to see the barista make filtered cold drip coffees right in front of us. The cafe itself isn't that big, but it's very bright with a lively atmosphere, and perfect for a catch up with friends any day of the week.



Both the breakfast and lunch menus are all day at Proud Mary, and there's a range of small desserts at the front counter where you go pay. I went with the Cotechino ($16.50) and my friend the Braised Lentils ($16.50), and we both ordered fresh juices ($7.50); The Bullet and Axl Rose. The Bullet consisted of beetroot, celery and carrot, and was a really fresh drink with flavours that really complimented each other. The beetroot was predominant in the drink and quite strong, but not overpowering. The Axl Rose was made up of orange, apple and strawberry, and was also a really refreshing drink. The strawberry flavour came through quite well which was really good, as normally it's overpowered by the other flavours, from some other juices I've had. It was a little on the frothy side though, and I had to keep mixing the juice.


The Braised Lentils also came with pickled carrots, sorrel, pecans and seeds, and was served with sourdough bread. It was a really flavoursome dish with great presentation. The ingredients in the dish all felt really fresh and organic, and there was just the right amount to make you feel full. The lentils were cooked perfectly; not too mushy or hard, and it went really well with the bread. There was a good combination of textures in the dish as well, and despite there not being much seasoning in the dish, it was still really flavoursome. In particular, the fresh herbs such as the sorrel really helped bring out the natural flavours. This dish was a big plus as it not only catered to vegetarians, but used some unique and interesting ingredients that wasn't 'boring', like some vegetarian options I've seen at other cafes.


The Cotechino was made up of pork sausage, creamed fennel, crispy garlic and a poached egg, and was served with a slice of buttery sourdough toast. This was also a really enjoyable dish, though it did get a bit heavy by the end and had to be washed down with the juice. The creamy fennel was done perfectly and was lovely and smooth in texture, and went extremely well with the pork sausages. I was actually a little surprised that the pork sausage came in a patty form as I was expecting a whole sausage, but having it cooked this way with a slight crispy outer layer that was soft on the inside, was really great as well. As there were three sausage patties, creamy fennel and the buttered toast, it would've been great to have more slices of the apple to balance it out, as this was great and refreshing but just not quite enough. The crispy garlic on the side also added some crunch and texture to the dish, and the poached egg was a nice touch to finish it off.


The staff were all really friendly, though our order wasn't processed through the system for about ten minutes so there was a bit of a delay in our orders coming. There's quite a bit of noise in the cafe due to the loud music and all the people inside, so you do have to raise your voices a bit to hear each other. I had a really enjoyable experience here though, and would definitely recommend coming to this cafe.

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Price: 8/10

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