Brunch is a fairly western affair, but our stubborn love for mid-morning meals has managed to convince a few authentic Asian restaurants and cafes into serving us brekkie. Put down the avo and throw away your sourdough, here’s where to find the best Asian breakfast in Melbourne.
From house-made soft, slight chewy white buns with pandan kaya and pumpkin kaya spread to mild broths swimming with fresh produce—Oneyada Café’s small menu is what you might find in an early morning Thai market. The strangely addictive Guay Jub Yuan is a mild soup laden with sticky, glutinous rice noodles, sliced pork, minced pork, topped with shallots and coriander. Add ground chilli oil if you’re looking for a morning kick but make sure you have a cold drink handy.
This popular pop-up in Fitzroy serves the type of breakfast traditionally found in a Japanese ryokan. With two breakfast set options (one vegetarian and one with fish), along with a herby rice porridge and a handful of sweet options, brunch shouldn’t be a mental marathon. The temporary space is minimal with gorgeous blonde plywood and white walls.
Magic Mountain Saloon
The team at Magic Mountain Saloon aren’t concerned with tradition, but if you are looking for something authentic, there’s no shortage of options. From coddled egg and chicken ball congee to hot & sour chicken noodle soup, or roti bread with almond butter, grilled banana, condensed milk, there’s a spectrum of Asian and Asian-inspired breakfast options to explore (and eat).
In the Melbourne’s south-east, Orient East is quietly serving some of the finest modern Malaysian food in the city. Unlike your usual terrible restaurant fare, this bright, vibrant hawker hall-style venue offers both Western and Malay-style brunch. Skip the sourdough for kaya toast with a 63-degree egg or congee served with foo yee tofu and black olive mustard. The Jian Bing crepe with egg yolks, pork floss, You Tiao donuts, hoisin and chilli coriander is also a winner.
Running on weekends, Cibi’s breakfast plates come in three variations: traditional, more vegetables and ultimate. Combinations include traditional egg omelette, seasonal green vegetables, potato salad, organic brown rice and our favourite type of soup: miso. Perch yourself by the window and pair it with a housemade or Japanese style tea.
You won’t pho-get Pho Nom’s Saigon Breakfast banh mi with egg, wagyu steak, pate and pickles. Better than your morning breakfast burger (and probably healthier), swing by Pho Nom’s permanent location on Collins Street or pick it up post-morning shop at the Emporium.
Weekend breakfast at Luxsmith means non-traditional Asian breakfast is served. Think chicken and ginger congee, poached egg, sesame, spring onions and crispy garlic or a scrambled tofu roti wrap with mushroom, spinach, chilli, coriander and sriracha.
Umm, did someone say DUMPLINGS?
Image Credit: Magic Mountain Saloon