Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
Coffee: 5 Senses, Single Origin espresso, cold drip, filter
“Bal-der-dash [noun] senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense
We all have that friend or know a person that loves the sound of their own voice. He/she believes that they are ‘tops’ – the best of everything who could never be wrong and should be the star attraction. They are the pure translation of Charlie Sheen’s “winning”. The balderdash that comes out of their mouth is astounding, annoying and you may even wished your ears had a mute function. If a cafe was nonsense or stupid, I’d imagine a place with no tables but just chairs, an obnoxious barista who would chat more than make coffees and the food service to be as late as a Greek bus service. Balderdash is a name of a fantastic cafe in Port Melbourne which is the completely opposite to the meaning of the word.
Balderdash is a calm, collected and chilled cafe, located on the busy side of Bay Street. It’s situated on a corner, with its interior containing subtle and quirky decor. The high ceilings reduced the noisy chatter inside the cafe and the big windows allowed for plenty of sunlight to stream through. With high chairs, a communal table and outside seating, Balderdash was certainly aesthetically charming.
Coffee may be a catalyst for increasing the balderdash coming from ones mouth, but it is too good to give up on that fact alone. With this in mind, Balderdash coffee is sourced from 5 Senses which offers its house blend and a number of Single Origins. With all these choices, I went for the Guatemala COE Lot # 18 [$3.50]. It had a lovely initial clean taste, but after a few mouthfuls I could taste the strength of the plum. The acidity was subtle and at certain times I couldn’t pick it. The tasting notes indicated that there was also a caramel flavour, however I had failed to detect it. Putting aside the complex taste, it was a lovely high-end coffee which was clean and enjoyable from start to finish.
Brunching with the boys never deters my food selection. As I am currently addicted to Corn Fritters because of its diverse flavors, fluffiness and innovation, I ordered the Corn, zucchini & haloumi fritters with crushed avocado, poached egg [$14] with bacon [$17.5]. The fritters themselves reminded me of Mart 130. They were distinctively large and filled with fresh corn, with a lovely moist texture which complemented the haloumi and zucchini. The poached egg was slightly over done with the yolk slightly hardened, but this was forgiven by the generous serving of bacon. The relish was the star attraction with a great tomato taste and spicy flavours that worked well with the crushed avocado. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough relish and at the end of my dish there was only my fluffy fritter. The dish was well constructed with high quality ingredients which was worth the shot. Had there been a more generous serving of relish, this fritter could have seriously been a contender to become one of my favourites.
Jay Jay is on a health kick and had the simple meal – The Balder Scrambled Eggs on toasted multigrain [$8]. He was excused from making a poor brunch decisions, but we won’t be so nice to him next time.
Power Ranger had the same as Miss SL, to which he had quite enjoyed the meal. Even with a mighty hangover from Friday night drinks.
Big bro had the Bircher muesli with rhubarb & lemonade compote, poached apple, low-fat milk & natural yoghurt [$9]. It was a high quality muesli and looked good for a mid-week brunch before pumping out the grunt at work.
There is no funny business at Balderdash. There is a true commitment to coffee which is backed up with an impressive brunch menu. I like Balderdash for this and I like to think its one of the better cafes around Port Melbourne. So if it’s too cold for the beach, try talking some Balderdash at Balderdash.”
“Mr LB was catching up with ‘his boys’ for brunch and for once, I got invited! I was a little apprehensive at first – crashing a boys catch up can create a recipe for disaster. After some coaxing from Mr LB however, I reluctantly agreed to go down to Port Melbourne to check out a place known as Balderdash. Interestingly enough, this place is just across the road from another known brunching establishment, My Sister Says.
Balderdash had a small interior – a large communal table in the centre of the room seemed somewhat private, with a large box of flowers preventing brunchers from awkwardly looking at the strangers sitting across the table from them. A counter top table lined the window and small tables and benches following the lines of the cafe.
Within 15 minutes, Mr LBs friends had arrived and we ordered our coffees and food, ravenous for the day. I had decided to go for something completely different as it was hot. I still needed my coffee fix but wanted something stronger, less milky and most importantly – cold. I opted for something completely out of my comfort zone – a Cold Drip coffee [~$5]. They had run out of the Cost Rica blend of the day and I instead got a cup of the Guatemalan – Antigua Los.
What came out was something completely unexpected. Presented in a chilled little bottle, this liquid tar looked magnificent. Pouring it into my icy cold latte cup, the texture of the cold drip was thicker than regular coffee – the colour was rich and bold and the aroma was gentle and magnificent. It was hard to define the flavour but I suspect there was a mix of plums hitting the forefront of my palate in a burst of sweet caffeine. I had never had a cold drip prior to this experience, but must say that I am now a convert and I will be having many cold drips this summer!
For brunch I ordered the Eggs Benedict- poached on a bed of sautéed gypsy ham & spinach with a citrus hollandaise sauce with toasted turkish bread [$16]. When it came out, it looked pretty delicious – the ham was fresh and the hollandaise sauce was lumpy with bits of peppercorn. Heaven! The citrus flavour was not so prominent, but the hollandaise was rich and creamy and there was just the right amount of sauce for the meal. The eggs were soft and gooey inside, perfect with the ham.
Overall I rather enjoyed Balderdash. Was it the most impressive meal I’ve ever had? No. Was the coffee good? Yes (in fact, so much so that I have been converted to a cold drip drinker!). Was it easy to get a seat for a brunch with friends? Absolutely. The atmosphere here was relaxed and the staff were friendly. Balderdash is a nice place to go for brunch if you’re in the area and not willing to put up with all the fuss of some of Melbourne’s other popular cafe establishments.”
Final thought: “Good coffee, good food”
After we went to Balderdash we did a side trip down to Chapel Street in Prahran and visited Topshop / Topman. We’re not sure if it’s a regular weekend stall, but on this weekend we visited a mini cupcake stall Cupcakes by Box Brownies setup just to the left of the entrance.
With all the flavours you could imagine, this cupcake stall was well stocked! We couldn’t help but getting some take – aways for ourselves. Mr LB got a Cookies and Cream flavoured mini – cupcake and Miss SL picked up a Pina Colada mini – cupcake [$2.50 each]. Delicious!