Nestled in a quiet neighbourhood area lies a little gem called Friends of Ours, an award-winning café I had been itching to visit since the dawn of time i.e. since I saw it on Instagram. Many have raved about the coffee and the food, prompting me to finally check out what the buzz was all about.
Upon arrival, the general vibe was akin to an Australian hipster café. It’s rather fitting, given that the café claims to offer “Australasian Inspired Breakfast, Brunches & Lunch”. It was quite busy for a weekday, but I was lucky enough to spot an empty table outside.
After an abrupt glance at the menu, I set my eyes on the first two words I spotted. FRENCH TOAST: an all-time favourite breakfast dish, before proceeding to opt for the vegan Katsu Sando. It didn’t take long for the food to arrive. And when it did, my first thought was WOW. Because the dishes were incredibly stunning visually.
French toast – £10.50
Prior to the visit, I had read about the café’s Antipodean take on dishes and its speciality in creating interesting concoctions of brunch items. Most of the dishes are curated in a unique way, incorporating ingredients you typically wouldn’t expect to go well together.
Admittedly, I didn’t notice this feature until I bit into an innocent-looking strawberry only to be shocked by how familiarly bitter it tasted. I would later discover that it was gin & tonic infused strawberries served in the dish I opted for – French Toast with coconut crumbed organic brioche, gin & tonic strawberries, rhubarb & custard, coconut sorbet. Not that I wasn’t a fan of gin & tonic, it was just surprising to find it paired with French toast.
The french toast itself was quite different from the ones I’ve had before. They were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, complemented by the lovely coconut sorbet. At times it was confusing, with all the flavours playing around, but it was definitely an interesting dish to ponder about. How often do you have a lil alcohol to spice up your French toast? (Not often!)
Aubergine Katsu Sando – £8
Like the french toast, the Aubergine Katsu Sando with carrot slaw, nori mayonnaise & Dijon mustard was interesting, only, it didn’t quite impress flavour-wise. I didn’t end up ordering coffee, but it is something I would recommend given that it is their speciality. In hindsight, I probably wasn’t very wise with my choices that day. Part of me still regrets missing the coffee while the other part still wishes I ordered the lobster and turmeric eggs I spied on my neighbour’s table.
That being said, I still had an enjoyable time, soaking in the sunlight outside and figuring out how to make sense of the flavours. It can’t be denied that the café serves the unexpected. Vegans would be glad to know that the vegan options available here are plenty. Alternatively, those looking for an interesting twist in their brunch can find their desires fulfilled here. Given how the menu changes according to the season, I cannot wait to see what Friends of Ours has to offer next!