506 Swan Street
Richmond Vic 3121
Each weekend, Richmond is abuzz with hungry Melbournians looking for somewhere to brunch with friends. As one of main café hubs in town, people descend on the area in their droves, so its not uncommon to have to wait and queue for a table at some of the more popular eateries. That is pretty much the point at which they lost me. I love brunching, but I absolutely despise having to wait around and queue for a table, especially when there are so many great cafes in town. I’d rather move on to another place where I can get the same quality food and a table right away. For this very reason I usually steer clear of Richmond as it has become somewhat renowned for the brunch wait and that’s time I just don’t have to waste.
So this past week when I was invited to brunch at Friends of Mine I was immediately apprehensive, but as it turns out my concerns were completely unfounded. Set in a charming old corner shop in a quieter part of Swan Street, Friends of Mine occupies quite a substantial space with loads of character and lots of seating both in and outdoors.
We arrived during their Sunday morning peak period to find the place full of happy brunchers and I have to admit, I immediately thought we’d have to wait for a table. Within a minute of entering (just as I caught a glimpse of the well stocked pastry cabinet) we were greeted by a lovely staff member, who immediately went off to find us a table and like wonder woman, retuned a couple of minutes later and lead us through to a table at the back of the café. In that very moment, I was completely at ease and relieved that my bad luck in Richmond had finally come to an end.
I’ve heard great things about the menu at Friends of Mine, so I was really excited to finally sample some of the great dishes they have on offer. I was with three friends and we decided to opt for different dishes to try as much as we could. We ordered their iconic toasted banana bread (with maple syrup mascarpone, fresh banana, berry compote and pistachio), the house smoked salmon (with sweet corn pikelets, smashed avocado, dill crème fraiche, pickled cucumber and poached egg), the vanilla pancakes (with caramelised banana, reduced run sauce and vanilla ice cream) and the field trip (wilted spinach, fresh field mushrooms, mozzarella and a potato gratin.
Although they were quite busy, our food came out in no time, which was just as good because we were all starving. My sister ordered the banana bread and was stoked when it came out. It looked amazing! It looked so good I barely got a chance to take a photo before my little man shoved his little hand in the top of it grabbing a handful of mascarpone and banana. I’m not a fan of banana, so I didn’t try it, but I have it on good authority that it was absolutely delicious. The banana bread wasn’t too heavy and worked really well with the mascarpone and compote.
I had the house smoked salmon which really hit the spot. The salmon was lovely, it wasn’t too overpowering, but the flavour was accentuated when paired with the super smooth crème fraiche. I also think the sweet corn pikelet was a great addition, it provided a great base to the salmon and balanced out the entire dish.
The vanilla pancakes were also lovely, they were really fluffy and super sweet. I’m a lover of all things sweet, so I really liked them, but if sugar isn’t your thing, best you steer clear.
Last but not least was the fields days which was a delicate and super tasty omelette filled with spinach and mushrooms. It didn’t look like the biggest serve, but proved to be really filling.