Eden Espresso, Malvern

11/01/2014 , 0 Comments

Eden Espresso is a small cafe on Glenferrie Rd in Malvern, in the shopping district just after High St and easily accessible by tram 16. I decided to visit this cafe as a friend wanted to try out brunch places in this area, and this was the one with the highest rating for brunch places in Malvern. Overall I was quite happy with my experience here.

The cafe itself isn't very big, but there's seating outside both in the front and back of the cafe. The way everything is placed however makes it look quite spacious, with the large tables and couches. There's a very cosy, home like feel to the cafe with the couches and lamp on one side, and soft music playing in the background. The decorations on the walls are quite simple but very cool - it is basically large coffee sacks that have been framed - I assume this reflects the different types of coffee used by the cafe. My friend and I went around 12:30pm on a Sunday and luckily didn't have to wait for a table.

Both the breakfast and lunch menu run all day (on both weekdays and weekends), and there's a very extensive range to choose from in the breakfast menu. We both ordered from the breakfast menu - a Middle Eastern Eggs dish ($16.90 plus chorizo for $2.90) and an Olive Benedict ($17.90), and we also ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice and an ice mocha (both $5). The orange juice was very refreshing and had just the right amount of sweetness to it, but I couldn't drink the last one third of the juice because there was only foam and a bit of pulp left. The ice mocha was nice and sweet, but there was definitely more chocolate than coffee in the drink, unlike some other cafes where ice mochas can be quite bitter if more coffee is put in it.

The middle eastern dish was essentially a baked eggs dish - two eggs cooked in a shakshouka sauce, topped with pan fried haloumi and spring onions, served with crusty Turkish bread and butter on the side. I really enjoyed this dish as it was really hearty and a good portion to leave you feeling full. The bread was crispy on the outside but lovely and soft on the inside, and I discovered the best way to eat it was to first spread the butter all over it, then put all the tomato-y (shakshouka sauce) filling from the baked eggs over that. The bread soaks up all the flavours really well and made for a really delicious dish. The eggs were done perfectly with the egg yolk oozing out when cut into, and the chorizo added extra flavour, spice and texture to the dish. The little pieces of haloumi cheese was a little on the salty and strong side, but this was balanced out nicely but the shakshouka sauce and the eggs.

The Olive Benedict consisted of Kalamata Olive Bread with baby spinach, fresh tomato, poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce. The bread was soft on the inside with a strong olive flavour, but the crusts were extremely hard and tough to cut. The eggs were cooked perfectly, but the bacon was really salty, and on top of the olive bread, made for a really salty dish in general. Although the dish also had tomato and spinach in it, there wasn't enough of it to balance out the salty flavours. My friend thought this dish was just average; she's had better Eggs Benedict before, and combining bacon with olive bread in the same dish is probably not the best idea, unless you have more vegetables or strong ingredients to balance out these flavours, so you wouldn't have to keep drinking water to cleanse your palette.

Eden Espresso is definitely worth visiting if you're already the Malvern area and I'd highly recommend the baked eggs dish I had. There's a lot of options to choose from and there's a good atmosphere to the cafe with friendly and attentive staff.

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