15 Urquhart Street
Mon – Sun: 8:00am – 3pm
Coffee: St Ali
“It was a warm spring morning when I made my way down to Coburg to check out the latest hotspot The Glass Den. I was tempted to bring the pup but I was glad I didn’t because the weather had turned cloudy and I wasn’t dressed for the occasion.
Located at the end of a one way road, it was easy to get a park and had to miss the venue. Peaking inside the front door, The Glass Den had a strong fauna presence, which isn’t very evident when you look at the photos. Having a snoop around the back part of the venue, there were huge windows which made it feel a bit like a glasshouse – although once being an infamous prison that once held Mark ‘Chopper’ Read!
It was a fifteen minute wait for two at peak brunch hour (11am), and we were seated within the estimated time on a communal table in the front part of the venue. The kitchen here is small but efficiently run, framed by Melbourne-esque street art. The dishes coming out of the kitchen were simply gorgeous, making the decision to order very difficult. It should be noted that there is a very attractive kids menu here too, as well as baby seats for those with little ones.
The coffee here is by St Ali, and I was keen to order the iced coffee I had been seeing all over Instagram. I’d ordered the cold drip [$4] which I thought would have the same presentation as posted on Instagram; but after enquiringly with the waitress I was disappointed when the presentation didn’t match my expectations. The coffee itself was beautiful though – fruity with mouthfuls of cherry and light.
My brunch date for the day, Nicolene, ordered a coffee as well as a Cold Press Juice – Raring To Go: Strawberry, orange, vanilla & mood balancing shatavari [$6.50]. She really enjoyed it, and found it easy to drink with the right level of sweetness.
It was difficult to select our mains, but I finally landed on the Bluestone Benedict [$19], caramelised beef cheek, kale, poached eggs and chilli hollandaise served on house made deep fried roti – Created by their sous chef Winai. Nicolene landed on Avocado Riot, crushed avocado w fresh cherry tomatoes, dukkah, bocconchini fiordilatte, baby mizuna, basil pesto and balsamic reduction served on crisp soy and quinoa loaf [$20.50] add poached egg [$2.50].
The wait was about 20 minutes for food and was well presented. My Bluestone Benedict was perfection. The roti was perfectly made, multi-layered in a way I have never experienced roti and delightfully crisp. You could easily make the mistake of thinking it was layers of potato inside. The slow cooked beef melted in my mouth and the hollandaise was creamy and had the perfect amount of slow heat come through from the back of the palate. The kale too enhanced the dish, and wasn’t just the token bit of greenery. It was crunchy and crisp but not overly bitter which was nice.
I had a cheeky taste of Nicolene’s smashed avocado and it was tasty; the avocado was fresh, creamy with the vinegar cutting through the dish in a way that sharpened the dish.
There were definitely some beautiful dishes that came out of the kitchen that looked simply amazing and worth a revisit. The service was friendly, fast and efficient and venue clean, grungy yet sophisticated. A definite thumbs up from me, and worth the travel as part of your next brunch adventure.”
Final thought: “Serving up some beautiful dishes”