Food News

Sunny side up

No other meal is more important, so get up and at ’em: 26 of the most exciting breakfast experiences in the country, in no particular order. Candied bacon, anyone?

1 Breakfast pizza, Albert St Food & Wine

This pizza for one has everything you need when having pizza for breakfast: a slightly bready, chewy crust, rich tomato passata, crisp pancetta, mushrooms, bocconcini and fresh basil with an egg on top, the yolk left slightly runny. The best way to eat it? Cut it in half, then roll it up, gyros-style. 382 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Vic, (03) 8354 6600

2 Bacon butty, [Kitchen by Mike

]( smoked bacon from Lucas Meats in Bronte is served on house-made woodfired sourdough rolls spread with Pepe Saya salted butter and served with house-made tomato ketchup. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of said ketchup on your way out – or indeed a dining table from the adjoining Koskela furniture and homewares showroom. 85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NSW, (02) 9045 0910

3 Merguez, eggs and chimichurri, [Hamptons Home Living

]( up and smell the merguez on the back deck of this pretty Paddington homewares shop. Add Turkish toast, poached eggs, slow-roasted tomato and a serve of chimichurri to crank the party in your mouth and consider your buttons well and truly punched. 180 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, Qld, (07) 3367 2002

4 Tacu tacu, El Amigo

Yep, it’s more or less a milk bar with a Peruvian overlay, and yes, maddeningly, you can’t get breakfast until noon Sundays, and it’s closed Saturdays, and yes, those buses rumbling past are extremely loud and extremely close. But by golly, if this mixture of rice and beans topped with a fried egg and accessorised with a fried banana and a tomato and onion salsa won’t set you up for the day, nothing will. 35e Ross St, Glebe, NSW, 0402 938 007

5 Baked beans, Pigeon Hole

Baked beans are rather ubiquitous, true, but Pigeon Hole’s version is a contender for Australia’s best. Slow-cooked until there’s a seamless balance between cannellini beans and tomato sauce and impeccably seasoned, served with Pigeon Hole’s own sourdough and showered with Heidi Farm raclette, it’s a cut above. 93 Goulburn St, West Hobart, Tas, (03) 6236 9306

6 Caramelised orange and olive cake, [Marmalade and Soul

]( & Grace chef Ray Capaldi’s riff on French toast is for those after a sweeter start to the day. The slab of caramelised orange and olive (as in olive oil) cake is sticky, with a pleasantly grainy texture. It’s topped with a shard of maple bacon (yep, you heard us, candied breakfast bacon), sits on raspberry coulis and is accompanied by a pale orange, pleasingly subtle burnt orange custard. 162 Queens Pde, Fitzroy North, Vic, (03) 9486 2740

7 “Gotta ‘av it”, [Snags and Sons

]( up feeling seedy in Leedy? If a meaty hot dog alone doesn’t get you back on your feet, the organic juice, Berocca and cold flannel (for comfort rather than eating, mind) in this weekend-only meal deal should do the trick. We hope. 749 Newcastle St, Leederville, WA, (08) 9228 3008

8 Vietnamese-style pork belly with fried egg, baguette and fragrant herbs, [Circa

]( Wilson has never been shy of a big flavour and this twice-cooked pork belly dish is salty-sweet proof. Served with robustly crunchy baguette and a lacy-edged fried egg, it’s a great turbo-charged take on bacon and eggs. 2 Acland St, St Kilda, Vic, (03) 9536 1122

9 Masaaki’s hand rolls, [Farm Gate Market

]( to queue for the pleasure of watching Masaaki Koyama deftly construct his bespoke hand rolls on Sunday mornings. A base of nori, some well-seasoned rice and then it’s up to you. There’s usually tuna or locally farmed salmon, sometimes wagyu, and always tamagoyaki omelette and a choice of pickles and vegetables. The essential condiment is fresh wasabi, grated to order. Cnr Elizabeth & Melville sts, Hobart, Tas

10 Cuca sardines, relish and toast, [Pei Modern

]( Best has made a virtue of simplicity at Pei Modern and this picture of breakfast simplicity at Pei Bar – tinned Spanish sardines, rich, salty and oily, excellent house-made sourdough toast with the ideal amount of chew, a brilliant and pugnacious brick-red tomato jam – proves that he’s onto something. Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9654 8545

11 Yirgacheffe and cola Slurpee, The Wedge Espresso

Take a really well made cup of single-estate Ethiopian cold-drip coffee. Wander over the road to the local 7-Eleven, pick up a cola Slurpee. Mix the two. Take a hit. When you come down, you’ll understand the evil genius that is The Wedge Espresso. 53-55 Glebe Point Rd (entry via Cowper St), Glebe, NSW

12 Pork neck roti, [De Clieu

]( spring onion roti anchoring this combination is fluffier, breadier and more absorbent than usual – a good thing when there are sweet pork-neck juices and feisty barbecue sauce to be sopped up. Topped with a fried egg and slices of spring onion there’s nothing more – or less – needed. 187 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9416 4661

13 Whiting and black bean taco, [The Crosstown Eating House

]( offering tender pick-em-up-and-chew-em lamb cutlets as a breakfast side is okay in our book. Especially when they also do a porky, chilli-laden pad kra pao. But the absolute cock-crow go-to? The Crosstown fish taco. Squeeze that lime and step back as the flavours of local whiting, fresh coriander and black beans come together. Bueno. 23 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, Qld, (07) 3162 3839

14 Chorizo Scotch eggs, Cornersmith

How do you improve on the humble egg? Wrap it in pasture-raised pork mixed with paprika, garlic, salt and chilli, roll it in polenta and bake it, of course. The yolk’s still soft and there’s just the right amount of chilli for that little kick you need in the morning. 314 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, NSW, (02) 8065 0844

15 Cuban slow-roasted pork panino, Lonsdale Street Roasters

Lonsdale has created quite a buzz with the quality of the single-origin coffee roasted on the premises. Its brunch panini are also a drawcard, not least this combination of rich pork and tangy pickled jalapeños. The house-baked banana bread provides a great sweet finish. 3/7 Lonsdale St, Braddon, ACT, (02) 6156 0975

16 Sticky pork paratha with fried egg, Who’s Your Mumma

Introducing Clint Nolan’s winning take on bacon and eggs. The pork is a thick hunk of melting, marinated belly, the Indian bread is suitably flaky and rich, and the egg is wonderfully glossy and runny. Good thinking, Clint. Cnr Wray Ave & South Tce, Fremantle, WA, [email protected]

17 Zesty eggs, [Zest Café Gallery

]( eggs? Why yes. They’re poached and served on buttered toast with a tangy seeded mustard and orange zest cream, topped with smoked salmon. How’s that for zest? 2a Sussex St, Glenelg, SA, (08) 8295 3599

18 Voodoo chicken, [Willow & Spoon

]( low-key suburban Brisbane café gets a big tick for breakfast chutzpah. Their “forbidden fruit and the garden of Eden” is a flower-bedecked wake-up call – a poached spiced apple with vanilla mousse and chewy granola dotted with chunks of whatever other fruit is at its best. Feeling less virtuous? The voodoo chicken offers a whack of diabolically good Southern-fried chook, Creole beans, poached egg and killer salsa. What’s up, Papa Doc? Shop 2, 28 Samford Rd, Alderley, Qld, (07) 3113 3810

19 Guangxi pork slider, [Spice Temple

](, so it doesn’t start until midday, but Spice Temple Melbourne does yum cha with a sophisticated twist. The house-baked brioche bun of pork belly, salted chilli, coriander, peanut and pickled cucumber ticks both trend and hangover boxes while the banana and peanut caramel crêpe might just be your new favourite if the egg custard with crabmeat and XO doesn’t get you first. Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic, (03) 8679 1888

20 Breakfast bento box, [Mizu

](’ll have to wait for the weekend for this beautifully balanced and packaged bento box treat – think grilled fish, slices of dashi-simmered pumpkin, chunks of chicken kara-age, pickled daikon, and of course miso soup. Not so pretty but hangover-tested is the loco moco – a bowl of rice topped with sesame gravy, a beef burger patty and a fried egg. Green tea latte, anyone? 2 Macquarie St, Teneriffe, Qld, (07) 3254 0488

21 Black breakfast, [Silo Bakery

](’s black breakfast is uncompromising in both name and flavour. A dense house-baked rye and grain bread chimes with the deep and earthy qualities of black pudding. Borage flowers and sweet pickled radish add a slash of colour and acid for contrast. 36 Giles St, Kingston, ACT, (02) 6260 6060

22The ploughman’s, Pearl Cafe

“Trencherman’s” is more like it. Picture two tranches of seriously tender house-salted brisket, a wedge of Pyengana cheddar, a hard-boiled egg and a splodge of savoury onion jam. Add a dollop of excellent French mustard then retire to a safe place for the rest of the morning. Too much protein? Try a house-made Danish instead. 28 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, Qld, (07) 3392 3300

23Soft maize, mushrooms, sage and parmesan, [Biota Dining

]( produce is a staple of the Biota menu and the Sunday brunch is no exception. The wild mushrooms foraged from nearby forests come with soft polenta, with the savoury edge of sage to cut the richness; we’ll take ’em any way we can get ’em. Kangaloon Rd, Bowral, NSW, (02) 4862 2005

24 Chochura, Tangritah Uyghur Restaurant

Tangritah presents an atypical Central Asian spin on yum cha – chochura are Uyghur-style dumplings with soup, comprising small balls of minced lamb in a wheat dough floating in fresh and lively tasting coriander, garlic, fresh tomato and lamb broth. 112 Grote St, Adelaide, SA

25 Fatteh, [Al Aseel

]( new Newtown branch of this much-loved mini-chain is not your average Lebanese restaurant. There’s the food, of course, which is a significant cut above, and the fact that it’s licensed and has Trumer Pils on tap. But it also does breakfast on weekends (till four, no less). If there’s anything better than breaking your fast on chickpeas mixed with yoghurt, fried flatbread and pine nuts, it’s doing it with a side of Lebanese sausage. 189 Missenden Rd, Newtown, NSW, (02) 9550 3194

26 Red shakshuka, [Canvas at Fremantle Arts Centre

]( hearty one-two punch of eggs baked in a rich tomato stew is called different things around the world, but hardly ever elegant. Enter Nimrod Kazoom’s Israeli take on the dish, proof that rustic and refined don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 1 Finnerty St, Fremantle, WA, (08) 9432 9562

Related stories