87 Burns Street
Wed: 4pm – 10pm
Thur – Fri: 11am – 10pm
Sat: 7am – 10pm
Sun: 9am – 9.30pm
Coffee: Padre Coffee
“My name is ‘Sue!’ How do you do! Now your gonna die!!” – lyrics from Johnny Cash’s hit, A boy named Sue
“Just like the song ‘A boy named Sue’, (which tells the story of a man’s struggle and resilience due to his abandoned father naming him Sue) the community of St Andrews and its neighbouring towns are a strong bunch. The serious of events on Black Saturday still burns strong for a number of Victorians; with ravage fires indiscriminately causing death and destruction. We all learnt a thing or two about bush fires, but we didn’t abandon the township or the picturesque bush setting just an hour away from Melbourne.
A boy named Sue is located on a corner street of St Andrews, Victoria. It has been operating for a while now and has a charming look and ambiance that is immediately attractive. The outside dining space is perfect for a country summer day with a Tuscany terrace vibe filled with sand-coloured brick work and creeper plants. Alternatively, when the days become colder, the cozy indoor area (split between two dwellings) has a rustic feel with up-cycled furniture and vintage objects. The trio of owners Steve Simic, Dan Zeidan and Ioreth Tudor (Lazer Pig & The Grace Darling Hotel) bring their Melbourne hospitality experience to the country – without dropping the ball.
Good coffee in Country Victoria is hard to come by. The usual practice is to drop your standards and appreciate the fact that it is being served. Coffee here, however, is sourced from Padre Coffee, with my long black [$3.50] being exceptionally smooth and robust. There was no bitterness or harshness to the flavour.
Everyone loves egg and soldiers, and for Jo Jo they bring back happy childhood memories. Sitting down to breakfast with her family as she tries to strategically dip the soldiers into her egg whilst avoiding the nasty shell invading her mouth. She couldn’t resist a shell-free alternative to this much loved classic; Suck Eggs! two poached eggs in cup w/ soldiers, roast garlic, chili oil & goats cheese [$12]. It provided all the fun of dipping soldiers into an egg with the added flavours of goats cheese, roasted garlic and chili oil.
The creamy texture of the goats’ cheese melts in the mouth and its sharp citrus taste, along with a hint of roasted garlic, complemented the perfectly cooked poached eggs. Served in small transparent glasses added to the experience. Watching the bright yellow yolk explode into the white of the egg and cheese was a stunning visual. She was transported back to being an over-excited child, but this time in a much more grown up exterior.
Electing the Braised ham hock & farro w/ poached egg, shimeji mushrooms & shallots [$16], I was truly taken back by the high quality and overall freshness of the dish. The poached egg were well-cooked and oozed out a bright yellow yolk that further marinated the farro grain.
The pieces of ham hock were succulent and moist and complemented the shimeji mushrooms and shallow fried shallots. Served on the side was a small cup of Hoisin sauce, which instead of the chef deciding on the optimum level, gave the diner the power to decide. The pungent flavours of the hoisin sauce highlighted the grain base and brought cohesiveness to the dish.
It’s quite easy to be caught up in the Melbourne vibe without paying too much attention to Country Victoria. I for one, am susceptible to this way of thinking. If it is an adventure you seek, St Andrews is only an hour away from the CBD. With stunning trail walks, weekly craft fair (occurring every Saturday) and a little bakery that doesn’t use electricity to bake its bread, it’s all on our door step. Not to mention offering a strong brunch from A boy named Sue.
Final Thought: “The perfect day trip brunch spot that doesn’t drop its coffee or food standards”