TWO AND A HALF BEANS, ESSENDON: A very relax-styled cafe on the busy Mount Alexander Road, Two and a Half Beans is a very welcoming, neighbourhood brunch area great for a quick catch up over coffee or drinks in the bustling surburbia. Peter was out front at the coffee machine to greet us, and he gave us some of his top recommendations from the menu. They have a nice area outside on the street, whilst indoors is a cosy, wooden area that also gives off a bar-like vibe (as alcoholic drinks are also on the menu). I started off with a delicious, warm matcha chai latte with a delicate balance between the sweetness of the matcha and the spiciness of the chai and cinnamon – and not to mention, beautiful latte art!
Matcha Chai Latte – $4.5
Dukkah Eggs (Two Dukkah Coated Poached Eggs, Grilled Tomato, Crushed Feta, Sliced Virginian Ham and Avocado Smashed, Served on Ciabatta) – $19.9
The good fat: I didn’t expect this dish to be of such astounding proportions with such a cool of presenting it. The ciabatta bread on the bottom formed a firm, hearty base for the heap of ingredients on top. I liked the smokiness of the Virginia ham, and how the light smoothness of the avocado went well as a paste, especially to undercut the strength of the feta cheese – which just added an awesome flavour kick! The tomato was slightly grilled for a bit of char but was still juicy to give it a much needed moisture. And the main highlight of the dish would be the dukkah eggs – it was very interesting to pay attention to the way they seasoned the eggs. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice that features a blend of herbs, spices and nuts, including sesame seeds, ground coriander, cumin, thyme etc. It was my first time trying Dukkah and I enjoyed having to not eat normal poached eggs for once (even though they’re already delicious that way). The Dukkah seasoning around the egg was not too spicy but full of herby, middle-Eastern flavours. It was probably the most complex part of the whole dish and added something special to it. A very filling and hearty meal.
The bad fat: The ciabatta was really tough to cut through so a little impractical, especially as I wanted to keep all the beautiful ingredients on top of as it had been originally placed. It would’ve been nice if the top was a bit crispier when it was toasted. I also felt like the avocado mash was a little too smooth/runny for my liking – I enjoy it particularly when there are still small chunks of avocado inside so it’s not completely like a paste. Lastly, the eggs were just the slightest bit overcooked as parts of the yolk weren’t runny as we cut through it and I love the thrill of watching that golden yolk ooze out of the egg whites onto the bread.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – A nice place for a hearty catch up with the locals – and very friendly customer service!