The oven at Forrest Hill cafe William Souter Espresso gets a good workout, judging by the overflowing mounds of baked cakes, tarts, and slices. There’s not enough space for it all, so platters of ready-to-go sandwiches, rolls, and savoury scones are piled on the top surface of the cabinet. It’s a baker’s delight and a hungry customer’s dream.
It’s very tempting to skip straight to dessert, considering that on any given day, they might roll out their pretty-as-a-picture black Doris plum crumble cake, dotted with edible flowers. Or the gluten-free berry and rosewater macaroon slice. Or the pecan brioche buns, sticky with sweet, sweet brown sugar. Paired with a smooth Allpress coffee, it’s an instant one-way ticket to baked-goods heaven.
But sorry to break it to you, that means you’ll be missing out on William Souter’s other delicious brunch offerings. Sure, this little hidden gem of a cafe may be small and tucked away on a residential street, but it packs a punch with its all-day menu, seven days a week. Yep, even Sundays.
Brunch just isn’t brunch without avocado and here it’s smashed, salsa’d and scrumptious. Avocado, corn salsa and feta are piled high on grainy toast, and it’s even topped with a poached egg for your troubles.
Sure, you could opt for the regular eggs benedict, but in-the-know brunchers pimp for the WS eggs bene. Expect a tower of house-made potato hash, poached eggs, chorizo, chipotle cream, jalapeño salsa and hollandaise sauce. Oof.
For souls seeking a lighter option, go for the chicken noodle salad. The bowl is brimming with soba noodles, grilled chicken skewers, edamame beans, avocado, bean sprouts, and shredded carrot. You know, the stuff that’s good for you.
If you’re after comfort food, you’ll find it in the weekly-changing soup (the seafood chowder is a knockout), or the savoury mince on toast. It’s like putting on a warmed pair of track pants.
And if you thought we were done talking about sweets, then how very wrong you are, my friend. We be ravin’ about their brioche French toast that definitely qualifies as the sensible breakfast of the champions. We’re talking about a mini-mountain of fried brioche, grilled banana, crispy bacon, and butterscotch sauce. That’s right, they’ve replaced the traditional maple syrup with butterscotch. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, this is all yours, baby.
So, get it? This little neighbourhood cafe might not be the easiest to find in town. But when you do find it, life will be very sweet.