Einstein's Relative, South Yarra

Einstein's Relative is a small cafe in South Yarra, the next street down from South Yarra station and close to Two Birds One Stone and Adriano Zumbo's patisserie. It's also easily accessible by tram 1/8 and there's plenty of parking on the side streets.

The cafe is quite small and cosy but doesn't feel squashed, and there's also some seating outside as well. There isn't much decoration as the place is so small, but pot plants line parts of the counter to bring some life to the cafe. Service was good for the most part, with friendly staff who came to check how our meal was at times. There was only about a fifteen minute wait for food, though my friend got the additional chicken option to go with her salad dish, which we were both sure we told the staff about, but didn't end up getting in the dish.

The menu at Einstein's Relative is quite South American inspired with lots of Mexican and Brazilian elements, though there are also some Middle Eastern flavours as well. It's quite different to the normal brunch menus you'd see, but still has a few of the traditional dishes. My friend went with the Zaatar Roasted Cauliflower Salad ($16.50) and I got the Chicken Toastada ($14.50), and drinks wise we ordered a fresh orange juice ($6) and the Brazilian Super Smoothie ($8). The orange juice was refreshing and not as sweet, and there was a good portion to it. Even though there was a bit of the foam at the end, the juice itself mixed together enough that you didn't feel like a lot of the drink was going to waste.

The super smoothie consisted of acai berry, yoghurt, coconut water, banana, honey and granola, topped with coconut. It was really smooth and thick, but not to the point where you had trouble drinking it from the straw. It was quite a sweet smoothie overall with all the elements, but the yoghurt and acai berry with their more acidic and sour flavours helped to balance it out.

The Cauliflower Salad came with spinach, cherry tomatoes, green lentils and pomegranate, with a watercress and dukkah yoghurt dressing and topped with a yellow poached egg. It was a great dish filled with a combination of textures and flavours, from the sweet refreshing pomegranate to the sour tomatoes, to the spices from the zaatar and the texture of the lentils and cauliflower. It was filling enough by itself, but the chicken would've been good to add some protein to the dish.

The Chicken Toastada consisted of sous vide chicken served on a tortilla with slaw, fresh chilli, radish and a spicy mayo. The dish was really enjoyable and quite light, but still full of flavour. The spicy mayo worked as a sort of dressing/sauce with the rest of the dish, ensuring it was never too dry and also brought a nice kick to the dish. The tortilla brought the dish together, kind of like how bread does in a breakfast dish, and made you feel more full. The chicken was nice and soft and not dry at all, and it contrasted nicely with the crunchy slaw.

For the portions of food, the prices were extremely generous, and I'd like to come back to try some of the other dishes. Definitely worth a try and it's a lot less crowded than some of the other cafes in South Yarra.

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

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