The Black Trestle, Balwyn

7/03/2016 , 0 Comments

The Black Trestle is a cafe in Balwyn in the shopping strip just past Balwyn Rd and relatively close to Mr. Hendricks, a popular cafe in the area. The cafe is easily accessible via tram 109, and there's plenty of side streets for parking as well.

The cafe is quite small, with minimal decorations apart from a plant here and there. The white walls and general wooden decor give the place a comfortable feel, with a cosy atmosphere. We went on a Sunday around 11:30am and surprisingly didn't have to wait at all for a table. There weren't very many people at the cafe at all when we were there, which was a bit surprising. Couch like seating lines one side of the cafe, which is mostly designed for groups of two. We were in a group of four, so felt a little cramped at times with all the food on the circular tables. The staff were friendly, though our food did take at least twenty minutes to arrive, even though we were the only people sitting down to eat at the time.

There's a good range of breakfast and lunch dishes, and the lunch menu starts from as early as 10am. The dishes we decided on were the smashed avo ($15), the eggs benedict ($17.50), toasted bagel on salmon ($10) and the crispy pork belly ($19). The dishes are for the most part quite cheap for the portions, which is really great.

The smashed avo dish came with goat's feta, cracked pepper and chilli flakes, and was served with toast on the side. The dish was surprisingly sour, as there was lemon dressing mixed in the smashed avo itself - this wasn't stated on the menu so was a bit unexpected, to the point where it became quite overpowering, if you're not a big fan of acidic flavours. The chilli flakes on the side were a nice touch for those who wanted extra heat on the dish apart from the cracked pepper, and the smashed avo itself had a good texture. The bread was lovely and crisp and not soggy at all, and the crunchy sprouts added texture. However, the goat's feta flavour didn't really come through - it felt like the lemon flavour in the avo was the strongest and might've overpowered the more subtle flavours of the dish.

The eggs benedict consisted of poached eggs, ham, field mushrooms and hollandaise. The eggs were unfortunately overcooked and didn't ooze out at all, and the portion was very small considering the price. The hollandaise flavour was quite light and couldn't really be tasted, but there was a generous portion of mushrooms and overall the flavours balanced out the dish nicely.

The toasted bagel came with smoked salmon, chive creme fraiche, cucumbers and a leaf mix. The bagel was a bit disappointing as well as it was quite dry and extremely hard to bite/cut into, though there was a good ratio of salmon to salad.

The crispy pork belly was served on a turkish pide, along with an apple slaw, agrodolce (Italian style sweet and sour sauce) and kale chips. The pork belly had great texture - it was soft and not too dry - and was balanced out well with the crunchy slaw. The apple flavour of the slaw came through well, and together with the sultanas and pinenuts made for a refreshing dish of sweet and savoury flavours. The kale chips on the side were a nice touch, with a subtle saltiness to them to counter the heavier flavours of the pork belly, and were nice and crunchy.

Overall, most of the dishes at The Black Trestle were quite disappointing and need improvement, so I probably wouldn't visit again any time soon.

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Price: $

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