Penny Farthing, based in Northcote in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs is a funky little cafe on High Street. Whilst house-sitting and with a bit of time away from work I decided to try out the local eateries! I was so impressed by the food and coffee, I decided to take the missus back the following day for some brekkie… BIG mistake. Penny Farthing went from a big hit on the Friday to a distinct average the following day, a bit like following the Richmond Tigers.
I arrived, took a spot outside to watch the world go by and ordered a long black and scrambled eggs on sourdough with harissa and a side of balsamic glazed mushrooms. The coffee arrived along with a map and description of it’s origins which I thought was a nice touch, it turned out to be beautiful. Within a few moments the main event arrived which was delicious too, fluffy eggs, a crispy door-wedge of sourdough and beautiful, sweet harissa which really complimented the dish. Not forgetting the balsamic glazed mushrooms which had great flavour, if not slightly dry but all in all, a fantastic breakfast which like a kid wanting show off his new toy I wanted to take the missus.
We arrived at Penny Farthing and had been recommended the Corn Fritters with capsicum relish & wood smoked bacon with a poached egg and rocket; now the thing about corn fritters is that they are either arousingly, table lifting deliciousness or a complete lead balloon. After yesterdays confidence boost we both decided to go for them, with a side of marinated feta and the mushrooms, I also went for a fresh orange and the cold drip coffee (pictured above). A bit of a bug-bear of mine is freshly squeezed orange from cafes should be exactly that…freshly squeezed, maybe I’m fussy. Unfortunately our’s came in a bottle and I didn’t really enjoy it, too tart for my precious, princess of a palate! The cold drip coffee on the otherhand was divine, a delicious subtle, rounded coffee taste served cold over ice, a real crowd pleaser.
When the fritters arrived, they looked great, I tackled the egg which was perfectly runny and then it happened again… I got excited, too excited… prematurely…. before the main event… the fritters. The fritters were not fantastic, they were distinctly average unfortunately; heavy, stodgy and didn’t taste of much, what a let down. The saving grace was the capsicum relish which tasted good, the bacon which was real crispy (just how I like it) and the mushrooms which were good as well. I just couldn’t get past the fritters which were sub-standard.
All in all, maybe I picked badly, maybe the kitchen had a bad day, maybe I had hyped it too much. Unfortunately though, overall I was disappointed.
Price – 6
Quality – 6
Atmosphere – 8