499-501 Lygon St,
Princes Hill VIC 3054
Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
(Kitchen closes at 3pm)
“In our brave new world of ‘likes’ shaped as hearts, finger scrolling and ultra-sharp photos; like it or not, Instagram has deeply influence how we communicate and share in today’s society. All our big (and small) moments are documented,shared and liked via a global mobile platform that famously had a team of 13 members. Never has the words ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ rung so true.
IG’s success in the cafe world is hard to come by, but one such cafe in Melbourne, Naughty Boy Eatery, has experienced such success with their freakshake offerings.
A calorie count that would send any dietitian in a meltdown; these visual pleasing babies are littered over Brunch Addict’s IG feed. So popular with people wanting to capturing the experience of buying a freakshake, co-owner Ashley de’ Hartman coined the term #Instashakes.
Despite Miss SL’s best attempt to persuade me to purchase a freakshake, I simply refused. It’s not that they don’t look great; it’s just that I can’t appreciate brunch with a sh*tload of milk and sugar. I’m just not a milk-type-of-a-guy. While sampling a little of Miss SL’s Shake ‘N Pop – popcorn milk, nutella, peanut crumbs, honeycomb and caramel popcorn [$12], I noticed that while the photo-worthy exterior decoration looked delectable the flavoured milk had lacked any real flavour. That said, the popcorn caramel brittle and honeycomb was exceptional.
My much loved long black [$3.80] had nut-like hints. The menu at Naughty Boy Eatery offers a well-rounded and crowd-pleasing options that most would love. From burgers – Mayura Station Wagyu Burger [$19] – to the sweet stuff – think Red Velvet Pancakes & French Toast – and healthier options; the menu doesn’t divided or segregate the brunch community. I elected the Rustic Rosti – Potato and kumara rosti w poached eggs, smoked salmon and pea and horseradish puree [$18], having noticed its superb plating from a neighbouring table and for it’s use of sweet potato.
The beauty about a good rosti is its diversity. It can be shaped and plated in all different ways, making the presentation interesting every time, and no two experiences are the same. The sweet potato rosti was oven baked and presented in perfect square shaped portions. While baked well on the top, the interior was soft and delicate on the palate. The other elements were prepared well and was a nice combination, however I was a little under whelmed by the experience. The dish didn’t really do enough to make it into my books of a ‘superb dish’, when compared to other Melbourne brunch places I have been to.
When a restaurant/cafe is exceptionally good at one element, the other elements tend to fade into the shadows. This often creates a ‘but’ at the end of the sentence when summary up the experience. This is not to say that the menu at Naughty Boy Cafe wasn’t good or innovative, but when the Instashakes are amazing you kinda want the whole experience to be at the same level. Experiences are there to be had and the menu does enough to complement, but the jury is still out whether it will be a star attraction.”
“Sometimes being naughty can be very,very nice. Like after a long day at work and having that cheeky glass of wine. Or when you were saving that last bit of chocolate for your partner but decide that you can’t resist and it’s going to be yours. Yes, being naughty can be very nice, so long as it’s balanced by being mostly good, which brings me to our next review: Naughty Boy Eatery in Princess Hill.
The venue was very easy to get to and park at. It was just far away from the mainstream business of Lygon Street, but not too far that it entered the busy neighbourhood of Brunswick. I had brought my dog Cookie with me on this occasion, so yet again, Mr LB was denied the full experience of indoor dining. The outdoor dining experience, to be honest, felt a bit budget. The tables and chairs seemed a bit rough and tumble and I’m not super sure what’s going on with the smiley face / thumbs up emoji they have out the front? Both seemed to cheapen the overall venue, which, inside had actually the complete opposite feeling. The interior was light and a little bit edgy with ‘ripped’ walls, a naughty boy decal and even milk crate lights. Yes, you heard me, milk crate lights (oh! How very Melbourne!).
Mr LB started off with his typical coffee, but I opted for one of their famous instashakes – Shake ‘N Pop – popcorn milk, nutella, peanut crumbs, honeycomb and caramel popcorn [$12]. This glutinous drink was delightfully cream-topped with little treats of delight on top. The honeycomb was a definite stand out, along with this peanut-brittle caramel popcorn shards in the drink. I also really enjoyed the Nutella rimming, but, to be honest the milkshake itself was very plain. The popcorn flavours were very subtle, and my shake tasted a bit like an expensive vanilla shake.
Like life, the menu at Naughty Boy Eatery was a little bit naughty with the instashakes, but mostly quite nice and healthy. I was surprised that it wasn’t all fatty pancakes and bacon that one might expect given the name.
For mains, I couldn’t get passed the Soft Shell Crab Burger – Brioche bun, Asian slaw, lime aioli, mango salsa w citrus dressing [$22]. It was served relatively quickly and I must say, was pretty darn delicious! Much to my delight, it was served with fat chips despite not being mentioned the menu. The chips, were perfectly cooked – crisp, thick and full of real potatoes. Better yet, it was perfectly salted.
The soft shell crab burger was also delicious. The batter had the perfect density over the crab, which was fluffy and fresh. The mango salsa was a fantastic addition – it really added a zingy freshness to the overall burger. The brioche bun was perfectly fluffy and sweet and held its texture. I was quite satisfied by the end of my meal and, combined with the instashake, it was actually too much.
Naughty Boy Eatery is a great place to be a little bit naughty, and a little bit nice. The instashakes are great for a little bit of novelty with your main and the brunches are oh-so-good.”
Final thought: “Great soft shell crab burgers”