Picture this – it’s a Saturday morning and you’ve already hit the gym, so naturally it’s time for brunch. Even though the hotcakes are a tempting order you desperately want to be healthy. But what in the world will both hit your sweet craving and fill you up? Enter the humble bircher. You know it well, it’s on almost every menu, but it gets constantly overlooked for a sultry smashed av or cheeky benedict. But not any more, people.
Whether you’re new to the bircher game or you’re looking for a bowl worth trying, here’sa guide to Melbourne’s best birchers.
#1 Liar Liar
Liar Liar are bircher experts, having boasted it on their menu since basically forever. It never leaves, it just gets a face lift each season as the fruits and accompaniments change. The current menu includes mulled wine poached quince, raspberry labna, strawberries and toasted coconut. It’s more than big enough to satisfy the stomach, but at just $10 a bowl it’s also small enough in cost to satisfy the wallet.
#2 Pillar Of Salt
Here’s one that is both tasty and interesting. At Pillar of Salt they won’t serve just any old bircher, so they’ve created the Australian native bircher bowl. Noteworthy ingredients are Davidson plums – tangy, red and grown all over Australia – and Kakadu plums – grown in Northern Aus and full of Vitamin C. Top it off with a super healthy scoop of Coyo yoghurt.
What makes this one stand out is the house-made raspberry yoghurt on top. Mostly tart and just a little sweet, Hobba keeps it simple with plums and macadamias.
#4 Bang Bang At The Rifle Club
Most people have heard all about this south-side gem’s impressive lunch and dinner menu, but we know they’re bringing the goods all hours of the day. When it’s a morning meal you’re after, try the Wild Granola with lime, coconut and buckwheat, strawberry, cashews, lychee, pomegranate and yoghurt.
#5 Top Paddock
We know how hard it is to resist the hotcakes at this quintessential brunch spot, but trust in our wisdom: you won’t regret skipping those pillowy temptresses this once. Instead, try the blackberry and apple bircher muesli with mint, yoghurt, pistachio and kiwi fruit.
#6 Saint James
This humble suburban café is hiding some of the best muesli going around. Head over to Saint James for dessert in a bowl, with the Apple Crumble bircher. Full of oats, quinoa, apples, all topped off with yoghurt and a berry and cacao crumble.
#7 High Society
Most birchers are covered in gorgeous fruits, but at High Society they’ve taken it a step further than your standard berries. This bircher is all about organic apples and exotic dragon fruit.
#8 District Brewer
District Brewer’s got an all-day breakfast, so you don’t have to be an early riser to taste their bircher best. Whatever time of day you head in you can expect organic oats, hazelnuts, orange segments and seasonal berries to be the stars of this muesli plate.
#9 Drugstore Espresso
In typical Chapel St/South Yarra fashion, the bircher at Drugstore Espresso is an over-achiever. It’s got all your usual stuff like green apple, honey yoghurt and coconut, but on top of that they’ve added chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries. Add a side of almond, soy or coconut milk for $1, or cow’s milk for free.
#10 Common Galaxia
All you west-side dwellers won’t have to trek too far to get your bircher fix. You can find a stellar serve with roasted stone fruits, fresh berries and pistachios at Common Galaxia in your own backyard. Sometimes the simple things are the best.
#11 St Ali
If it feels like everybody’s always telling you how great St Ali is, that’s because it is really, really great. Adding to their list of accomplishments is some delicious bircher muesli with molasses roasted pear, lime and coconut labna. Did we mention it’s gluten free too?
#12 Proud Mary
An oldie but a goodie, you can always count on Proud Mary to bring something flavoursome and interesting to your plate. Test out their Wild Co. Bircher with flavours of blueberry and green apple, puffed rice crunch and hibiscus honey.
#13 Vertue Of The Coffee Drink
Never one to take the usual route when it comes to brunch dishes, Vertue have even managed to put a spin on the humble bircher. This one is flavoured with Pandan – the leaves popular in Asian cooking – and features basil seeds, ginger crumble and coconut yoghurt.
#14 Miss Marmalade
Want to branch out from bircher? Here are the best brekkies we ate in 2016.
Image credit: High Society