Cafe Lua Revisited: A Disappointing Sequel

After having such a positive experience at Cafe Lua more than a year ago, I had no hesitation recommending this cafe/art space as somewhere relatively central to meet some old and new breakfast companions. Yes, it might be slightly pricey, but I this was a special occasion – I was showing off to Short Stack and Madame Bacon.

My hopes were high as I flipped through the menu, and then sunk lower when I found that Cafe Lua was still in Winter mode and I would not be eating a cool, creamy muesli but rather a:

Porridge of some description

I do like porridge as it is the warm, mushy cousin of muesli; however on a sunny Spring morning being greeted with the prospect of porridge when muesli was expected is kind of like being given work clothes for your birthday – useful, potentially tasty, but a bit disappointing.

Normally I would move straight on to a photo of said porridge, but I will delay. This is because (and I’m not usually one to comment on service as I’m here for the oats) we had to wait for almost 40 minutes before being told that there had been a “printing error” – which I guess I understand, printers are notoriously fickle, but how does this relate to my situation? – and we would have to wait a further 15 minutes for our breakfasts. My God, we were being pushed into brunch territory. We were offered a free drink each as compensation, which I and my similarly-minded friends jumped right on and ordered smoothies – which we received mini versions of. The wait did give us plenty of time to chat, but honestly, who wants to do that on an empty stomach? Here is what finally arrived:

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Firstly, porridge should not occupy the bottom quarter of a wide, shallow bowl. Secondly, regardless of what amazing ingredients might have been used to create this dish, the first overwhelming mouth impression that I got was that it was tepid. My next course of action was to find solace in the rhubarb…and it was cold. The horror. THE HORROR! Yes, I suppose I could have asked for them to warm it up but honestly, at this stage I was wallowing in self-righteous indigence at the travesty of having to wait almost an hour for cool porridge and have to eat it at a time that can only be described as brunch. Brunch! Not even creamy, coconutty oats are going to save a lukewarm porridge from being one of the worst things ever. It is like whoever made it did not care one bit – and apathy is something I cannot abide. I do not enjoy being disappointed and this one stung badly.

Final Word: If you are out to breakfast and are feeling masochistic, go to Cafe Lua and try their porridge.

(Not So) Good Muesli, Melbourne!

-MM

Cafe Lua on Urbanspoon

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Babka: Defying Expectations – Not In A Good Way

I had been meaning to try the Babka muesli for a while because I have a vague memory of going there years ago and really enjoying some muffins. It seems like an odd rationale but really if babka muffins = grains = yummy, and muesli = grains then surely babka muffins = muesli = yummy? Ho ho, how wrong my flawless logic was.

But first, the establishment. Babka is the second institution that I have had the circumstance to review. In this instance the suburb is Fitzroy and the bakery cafe is located on Brunswick Street, just North of Kerr Street. It is compact yet seemingly spacious and as such my lovely friend and I felt quite comfortable sharing all of the lascivious gossip we had for each other, without feeling too self-conscious. The wait staff were for the most part friendly and attentive, but not over-bearing – there are certainly no waitress-mothers around these parts (thank goodness as who needs one more?). I should also add that being a bakery, Babka smells very nice so if you visit with a cold, or are unfortunate enough to be anosmic, you’re missing out on an important part of the experience.

After sipping some water I considered the menu and found:

Swiss muesli – oats, sultanas, freshly grated apple, almonds, yogurt

My first exact account of the menu! And the first black mark against the Babka muesli – Swiss? What is Swiss muesli, some sort of wonderful muesli derivative that we should all try? No. It is naught but our good friend the Bircher Muesli which was developed, AND I QUOTE: “by Swiss physician Maximiilan Bircher-Benner” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muesli#Original_Bircher-Benner_muesli_recipe). I suppose I have made a bit of a meal (hehe) of the pretentiousness of this menu billing, but it is so at odds with what came out that it illustrates completely my disappointment:

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To borrow another quote: What the glob?! (LSP, Adventure Time). Instantly underwhelming. I was however, ready to look past appearances and judge this muesli based on its mouth-hole merit alone. Boy, was my mouth-hole disappointed. To begin with, it was warm. This went further than just being not-cold, it felt close to body temperature. As this is a Miss who likes to know where her tissue ends and muesli begins, instant disdain blossomed. Yes, I enjoyed the grated apple and the odd chunky almond, but these elements were lost within a sea of warm, creamy yogurt. The oats were similarly unable to compete with the dairy deluge. Safe to say, I was not amuselied.

I decided to be fair to Babka and take away a slice of the lemon tart that I have actually heard a lot about to eat over a cup if tea at work. Mind. Blown. I am not even a lemon tart fan, but I was not only given a gigantic slice (tick!), but it turned out to be a gigantic slice of amazing. Babka redemption!

Final Thoughts: If your boat floats in a lake of warm yoghurt, buy this muesli. If not, have toast, eggs or lemon tart for breakfast at Babka.

(Not-So) Good Muesli, Melbourne!

MM

Babka Bakery Café on Urbanspoon