97 Errol Street,
North Melbourne VIC 3051
Tues – Sat: 7:30am – 3pm
Coffee: Coffee Supreme
“We all have that denoted ‘to do list’. Written on this list is a number of jobs which usually starts with number 1: ‘Create a to do list’. The funny thing about a ‘to do list’ is that they rarely go away and ever so easily accumulate. It could be that unfinished Bunning’s idea that you saw on the ‘Renovators’ or a number of brunch reviews to complete. Here at Brunch Addict HQ, there is an extensive and list constantly evolving of cafes to blog and Fandango has been on our radar for quite some time. With that being said, it has taken us a whooping two years in the making to have the opportunity. This is not because it’s an arm length away from Auction Rooms or Di Bella and we get side tracked. Rather, every time we made the effort to go to Fandango it always seemed to be closed. Fandango is a cafe which believes that Sunday and Monday are the days of rest – and they practice what they preach. However, don’t be deterred by this, as we quickly discovered that while this little cafe lies amongst heavy competition, it sure packs a punch.
Their coffee is supplied from Coffee Supreme, which we have tasted and reviewed in previous blogs. Whilst, in the past I have expressly outlined that it isn’t my favorite, it appears to be growing on me. This isn’t to say that it is a remarkable blend, but there seems to be improvement. On this occasion, the head was very faint and had already broken away upon serving. Initially there was a real musky taste to this coffee, however this may have been attributed to the coffee being unusually hot. Once the coffee had settled and cooled, there was a crisp taste on the back palate whilst very soft flavours came forth to the front.
Looking at the brunch menu at Fandango, you may draw the conclusion that the food is as simple as their menu titles. With a title like Avocado and Tomato- with basil pesto and cracked pepper on toasted sourdough [$13.50]– add bacon and poached egg [19.50], there wasn’t much excitement. Well my prejudice sure served me wrong!
I usually make notes as I eat my dish to jog my memory when I write-up, however there was no notes written on this occasion. There was no need – my meal was flat-out amazing. The quality of the meal was second to none with all produce being fresh and prepared perfectly. The pesto was crunchy with pine nuts, which was perfect when spread on the fresh sourdough. The bacon comprised of the right texture outside and soft juice middle and the eggs were poached perfectly. It was firm on the outside, but once pieced it o0zed a lovely yellow colour. Whilst simplistic ingredients have been used, the quality of the ingredients and the preparation which made this dish amazing.
Brunch desert is always a consideration, however there are some instances when it’s just impossible. Once we were seated I had noticed the sweet looking Pear muffin[$3.60] next to the barista station and from that moment I knew it was mine. With that said, I was quite satisfied after my amazing meal and left leaving with a brown paper bag. When my appetite had returned, I can confirm this muffin was of a high standard. It was well crafted and shaped without crumbling. The fresh pear pieces brings the perfect level of sweetness to mix with the naturally light muffin. The muffin represents Fandango – while not being flamboyant with its size or decor, the taste sure delivered what every cafe should aim for – a no compromise to quality.”
“Ever since our first visit to Auction Rooms, Mr LB and I have been talking about going to Fandango, two doors down. That was two years ago. Every time we seemed to be in the area or passed the place it was closed. We were beginning to think that it would be a bit of challenge to find a day that it was opened!
Knowing that it was closed on Sundays, we made a special Saturday attempt to have brunch there. Auction Rooms was packed and the line looked to be a good 30 minute wait. In comparisons, the wait at Fandango was only 15-20 minutes. The interior was kitch and cosy, looking like a converted 1980s/90s hair salon. The limited seating space was a real down-fall to this place, although there was a courtyard out the back which looked just perfect for a sunny day.
During my wait I was spying on some people’s dishes which made my choice very easy once seated – Beetroot Eggs – poached eggs with beetroot and feta relish served with spinach on toasted sourdough [$15.50] add mushrooms [$18.50]. Kitchen service was efficient in comparison to a lot of other high-quality cafes, with food served in approximately 15 minutes and boy, was it magnificent looking!
The beetroot and feta relish was such a simple concept and yet so refreshing and tasty. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t something I’d had before. The feta was creamy and the beetroot zingy and juicy, creating a beautiful cohesion of flavours. The purple-red juices stained the relish and added a burst of colour to the dish. My eggs were perfectly cooked and dripped with yolk once pierced.
My sourdough was thick and crunchy and didn’t become soggy with the egg and the relish. The spinach and mushrooms made this vegetarian breakfast complete. The mushrooms were sautéed in butter, but perfectly done so that the butter was not overpowering.
Fandango was the best brunch I’d had in a long time. It felt like forever since I’d been out to brunch somewhere where I’d walked away thinking ‘that place was amazing’. If they had a larger outlay (and maybe switched to a better coffee bean) they could definitely give Auction Rooms a run for their money. Watch out Melbourne, there’s a quite achiever sitting amongst the big guns.”
Final Thought: “Quiet achiever that could take on the big guns. A must try.”