The only thing better than poached eggs is poached eggs in a pool of spicy tomato and capsicum sauce served with warm buttered bread. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either an idiot or gluten intolerant. And now that the summer months are over and our Havaiana thong tans are slowly fading (thank gawd), acai bowls just won’t cut it in this unwavering drizzle...which is why we’ve scoured the city for Melbourne’s best baked eggs. We know, it’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Head to Moonee Ponds for a lil’ taste of Spain at Brother Hen, who serve a delicioso baked eggs with a Spanish twist that means you chicos and chicas can enjoy poached eggs with bean and chorizo ragu, manchego, goats curd and basil oil, served with charred sourdough, without even boarding the Skybus.
Grange Road Egg Shop
Buried deep in the South Eastern suburbs is Toorak’s Grange Road Eggs Shop, which has a traditional shakshuka with free range eggs, tomatoes, flaked chilli, capsicum and chickpeas, served with yoghurt, coriander and sourdough. Yum.
The CBD’s Hardware Societe is Melbourne’s resident baked egg oasis. Their menu contains no less than three versions, including baked eggs with either pumpkin and sage puree, roasted asparagus, truffled brie and pine nuts...or chorizo sausage, potato, piquillo peppers, queso mahon, toasted almonds and aioli...or finally with duck rillettes, beetroot puree and hazelnut pesto. There’s also the added option of black truffle, because dreams really do come true.
Axil Coffee Roasters
Hawthorn’s Axil Coffee Roasters has a great baked egg dish with spicy peperonata, dukkah, Meredith feta and pumpkin grain toast. We also won’t judge you for following it up with their red velvet pancakes...
Similarly, Prahan’s Tall Timber serve a delish shakshuka with gently poached eggs in a base of tomatoes, capsicum, onion, eggplant, and spices, served with toasted ciabatta. It'll put your scrambled eggs on Wonderwhite to shame.
Back across the river is Hawthorn’s Liar Liar, who’ve mastered the cold-weather brunch dish with their sublime house baked eggs containing no less than two poached eggs, feta, pesto and warm Turkish bread.
Footscray Milking Station
West of the CBD is the Footscray Milking Station who boast a pimped-up baked eggs with tomato sugo, spiced chickpeas, roast capsicum, sausage, squacquarone cheese and hommus bruscetta. Holy fook.
Friends Of Mine
Get closely acquainted with the shakshuka baked eggs at Richmond’s Friends Of Mine, which come nestled in a base of tomatoes, onion, capsicum, eggplant and spices, served with warm Turkish bread.
Find your mister right at Mr Mister in the form of baked eggs shakshuka with chorizo crumb, spiced tomato and pepper sauce, mozzarella, grilled eggplant and zucchini, almonds, puffed chickpeas and grilled flatbread. (You had us at chorizo crumb).
Steal yourself a plate of the ‘The Legend’ at FItzroy’s Breakfast Thieves. Their spicy baked eggs are served with Spanish hot chorizo, mushrooms, green peas, pumpkin, sweet corn and feta, and are accompanied by herbed garlic toast (baked eggs AND garlic bread).
Tahina Bar, knows what’s up. You’re in for an absolute treat with these hefty shakshukas. There's actually three varieties on offer. The traditional shak’ on a tomato base is their red shakshuka—perfect for beginners. Next up is their green shak’ with broccoli, avocado, zucchini, olives and fresh herbs—intermediates this one’s for you. All you specialists, try their white shak’ with wild mushrooms, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, goats cheese and fresh herbs. All served with fresh Israeli salad, spicy green salad, pickled cabbage, hummus, tahini and pita bread. Let the feast begin.
Just down the road from the wicked burger joint, Tuck Shop Takeaway, is an Israeli-style café, Einsteins 251, serving up a mean Egyptian brekkie and some killer baked eggs. Served with eggplant, spinach, feta, sprinkled with dukkah and served with warm flatbread to absorb the delicious sauces.
Greville St may have a chance to return to its former glory when it’s slinging cafes like Oscar Cooper. Their baked eggs push the boundaries—rich tomato sugo, za’atar, Persian feta, and for the kicker...sucuk sausage.
Treehouse Lounge Café
On the trendy hub of Carlisle street comes Treehouse Lounge Café, serving up their epically spicy ‘Marinka’s Shakshuka’. Made with spicy sugo, feta, roasted peppers, za’atar and poached eggs. Its point of difference? A thick film of Manchego cheese on top. Thank you Marinka!
Whip out your phone and get ready to post on your Instagram story because Shanklin's shakshuka tastes and looks spectacular. The shak’ is topped with edible flowers and fresh herbs. Spam away, guys.
The locals are all around Fress Café when they need their shakshuka fix. Eggs baked in tomato and capsicum ragu, topped with herbs and Turkish bread. They have perfected the classic shak’.
Spout café, the shakshuka specialists. Their menu features four different types, depending on what mood you’re in. If you’re feeling traditional, try their tomato and capsicum ragout shakshuka topped with crispy halloumi. Feel like a meaty, filling feast? How about their Moroccan Style Chilli Con Carne shakshuka with spiced lamb mince and chilli tomato sauce. Or you may be feeling the Ful-Meddamas, a bean stew topped with eggs, chilli dukkah and shredded cabbage. Last, but definitely not least is their green superfood shakshuka–creamy zucchini sauce shak’ with broccoli, kale and okra. #Bless.
Work up an appetite walking around Princess Park then head down the road to Turquoise Eatery for their eggplant and feta shakshuka that SLAYS. To top it off, the pita that accompanies it is oh-so soft.
Image credit: Axil Coffee Roasters | Michelle Jarni