Tue – Sun: 8 am – 11 pm
“There is something special about Elwood. It’s a suburb close enough to the action of St Kilda & Prahran, but has enough distance to appreciate the quiet moments. It has an unusual demographic including the highest population of single ladies in Melbourne Metro – not to mention a large mix of middle to upper class young families roaming on Ormond Road as well as a cluster of younger residents. Overall, Elwood is a much loved and desired suburb. It’s the perfect place to raise a young family and not lose touch of the culinary scene. There are a few brunch locations that come to mind, but there is one that we have been meaning to try – The Dining Haul.
The space of The Dining Haul has more of a dinner feel. This is due to the lack of natural lighting and somewhat closed off feeling as you enter. It’s cleverly divided into two sections, with the usual table and chairs for larger groups and a beautifully designed communal table for a more intimate experience. As I arrived and ordered my long black [$3.80] I couldn’t help but notice the wooden feature wall with divots, acting as an interesting canvas for the decorative bar and decor.
The breakfast menu has limited options, but it’s a case of less is more. The usual suspects of pancakes and scrambled eggs were present as crowd pleasers, but I settled for – Corn Fritters with bacon, avocado salsa with a poached egg [$20].
The presentation of the corn fritters was well organised and appealing. It was nicely stacked with the avocado salsa, and the chopped chives were nice. My only reservation was that the fritters came out looking like they had been slightly overcooked. Once I sliced into the fritters though it was a different story, as they were soft with a lovely moist texture. It had subtle spices that were complemented well with blitzed herbs. The bacon was cooked to my liking – the right balance of crispiness and soft meat. It was a nice dish for someone looking for a largish meal, but at the $20 price point, I felt it didn’t reflect value.
I love Elwood. However, I have yet to see it turn into a true food destination. Sure, there is the likes of Jimmy Jamz, The Turtle and others who can produce quality dishes for when the fridge is bare. With this in mind, The Dining Haul provides a quality brunch when you’re nearby. It’s a no fuss, no lines situation with good food. I
feel it hasn’t quite reached the standard where brunch-goers should make the effort to visit, given the stronger offerings from surrounding suburbs.”
“It was early on a Saturday morning when we caught up with ex-Twitter-acquaintance-now-real-acquaintance blogger @jaimecml and her partner for breakfast at The Dining Haul in Elwood. The up-market fish and chippery was quiet at the early hour of 9:30am on a Saturday. As we took a seat waiting for Mr LB to arrive, G and I ordered our coffee patiently, taking in the beautiful designs of the venue.
Our coffee was by Niccolo, and was slightly bitter in flavour. While we pleasantly sipped our morning brew, the rest of our guests arrived and the conversation wheels began turning on every topic – from weddings to cardio and weight training for a potential zombie apocalypse. We found ourselves quite hungry as the conversation turned to breakfast. I had already made up my mind, choosing the Eggs of your choice with corn, chipotle, & fried tortillas [$17].
When our meals eventually came out I couldn’t help but feel a little smug about my tortillas. Perfectly portioned with deliciously fresh avocado top on a bed of chipotle, these little delights were a nice way to start the day. The small addition of pink salt highlighted the flavours of the scrambled eggs and avocado. While the meal was nice, it wasn’t particularly amazing and I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, as The Dining Haul held so much promise when it first opened its doors.
Jaime had the Grilled sandwich with serrano proscuitto cheese & Mizuna [$15] and her partner enjoyed the scrambled egg with salmon – a special of the day.
G decided to customise his dish, ordering the Choice of eggs on toast [$10], add bacon, add mushrooms. He seemed pretty satisfied with his meal.
Overall The Dining Haul was a nice, no fuss brunch. Was it amazing? Unfortunately no. Was it filling? Yes. Was it easy? Yes – and sometimes that’s all that matters when you are catching up with a select group of friends or relatives; a relaxing atmosphere that provides good quality food.”
Final thought: “Nice, but not amazing. Better for dinner”