SOS Cafe, South Yarra

10/09/2016 , 0 Comments

Located in the South Yarra Square on Toorak Rd, SOS Cafe is a trendy and popular brunch place that's a short walk from South Yarra Station and tram 8. The cafe prides itself on organic and local produce, with an extensive menu to suit everyone's dining choices.

The open terrace style of the cafe, together with the large fountain out the front, gives an Italian feel to the place, and you almost feel like you're in a plaza in the streets of Rome. It makes for a lively and cheerful atmosphere, and on sunny days like the day we visited, makes you very excited for the warm weather that's just around the corner (hopefully!). The staff were friendly and attentive and the service was good, however our food did take quite a while to arrive, despite it not being very busy when we went.

The menu has a good range of breakfast and lunch options, and caters to a lot of requirements such as gluten free, vegetarian/vegan, dairy free and no garlic/onion. We all went with breakfast options, and ordered the Haloumi and Zucchini Fritters ($20), the Mushroom Baked Eggs ($21) and the House Baked Napoli Beans ($16). One of my friends also ordered the house spiced golden latte ($5.50) and I got an OJ ($6). The golden latte differs from a normal latte with the addition of spices and herbs in it, but still having a lovely milky flavour and the OJ was refreshing though a bit more sour than what I'm used to.

The zucchini fritters came with poached eggs, crispy prosciutto, carrot kasundi (a type of sauce), wilted spinach, kale and a sticky beetroot reduction, with sweet potato crisps on the side. Overall the dish was very light, with great flavour and texture combinations from all the different elements of the dish. The fritters were perfectly cooked and not dry at all, and the sweet potato crisps added a nice crunchiness to the dish. My friend chose to have this dish without the eggs which did mean it wasn't as filling as it could've been, but was still enjoyable all the same.

The mushroom baked eggs consisted of runny eggs in a pan of wild mushrooms with bacon, goats cheese, organic greens and toasted pineuts, served on sourdough. The menu does indicate that this dish will take longer to cook, and it was absolutely worth the extra waiting time. The dish was different to most baked egg dishes I've had in that in wasn't a tomato base one, instead having generous portions of mushrooms and greens, making it lighter than usual though not missing any of the heartiness. The saltiness of the bacon gave the dish an extra flavour, and the toasted pinenuts and deep fried enoki mushrooms added crunch to the dish.

The baked beans was served on crispy polenta, with poached eggs and shaved parmesean cheese. You could tell that the beans were house made, and the polenta was just as the menu said; crispy on the outside, and soft and delicious on the inside. The dish overall however, lacked flavour despite having the napoli sauce and shaved parmesean, and my friend found that she had to add salt to the dish continuously so that it wasn't too bland.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience at SOS Cafe, and I'd definitely visit again to try some of their other dishes. Great little cafe for the warmer weather in the South Yarra area, and worth a visit!

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10
Price: $$


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