97 Cavanagh St,
Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun 8am – 3pm
Growing up in Mordialloc, I must say that my opportunity to discover brunch – a cheaper and more dignified way to socialise than getting inebriated at the dodgy uni pub – was far more limited. Even neighbouring suburbs lacked the brunch quality that I was to later discover around the city outskirts. How times have changed though, with Hendriks Cafe, The Tradesman and now, Frank’s in Cheltenham. The bayside suburbs are getting trendy!
Visiting Frank’s was interesting, especially as I have been keeping an eye out on the property market in the area and knew this cafe was located in the “golden triangle”, where three bedroom houses are selling for well north of $800k. Parking was a challenge by suburban standards on the Saturday that G and I arrived on where we were due to have brunch with my brother and his partner Lona. It’s immediately apparent that Frank’s is a breath of fresh air to a dying shopping strip, made up of shops that had not renovated in the last decade. The bright, welcoming cafe emulates a city fringe cafe feel with a beautiful mix of tanned woods, white walls and a neon sign. And let’s not forget to mention the brunch desserts on offer at the barista station!
The venue is made up of a bench overlooking the street, tables for small groups of 2-4 and a large communal table towards the back of the venue. There is no outdoor seating at the venue due to a pretty narrow footpath, so unfortunately your furry friends will need to stay at home.
We got a seat on the communal table, which is normally no problem but for some reason the combination of the size of the table, acoustics of the venue and my guests being low volume talkers made for a real challenge to have a comprehensive conversation. Occasionally we would make reference to something or want to look up something on the internet to show each other, and there was no 3 or 4G internet in the area! Not even with Telstra! This made it really frustrating as I couldn’t instantly share my photos with you, dear reader, on Instagram or Twitter. If the owners of Frank’s are reading this, please install free wifi for guests!
The menu at Frank’s was interesting and exciting. There were Doughnuts – mini cinnamon, soft toasted meringue, vanilla ice cream and rhubarb [$16.50], a version of Eggs Benedict called Benedict – crispy pork belly, jus, bubble & squeak, poached eggs, hollandaise, sourdough [$19], and for the healthy Salmon – house cured salmon, kale, asparagus, poached eggs, artichoke, dark rye [$21].
G opted for the doughnuts, my brother and I went for the Benedict and Lona went for the salmon. The turn around time for the food was about 30-40 minutes, but we were warned upon being seated that the kitchen was running a bit slow today and to get our orders in quickly.
My Benedict was rich and quite different to what I was anticipating. The meal strayed quite a way away from a traditional eggs Benedict, and while the pork belly seemed like a good idea at the time, it was probably a bit more than I could handle from a meat to fat ratio. The meat was melted in my mouth and had a bit of a peppery after taste. The hollandaise was definitely not typical and did not have any of the traits I anticipated; no lemon, no bite, no twist which would have been a welcome addition to cut through the fattiness of the dish. Overall I found the dish tasty, but the flavours all a bit too subtle for my liking.
G’s dish though.. phroar! This was one was delicious dish! The doughnuts were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and perfectly coated in cinnamon. The meringue was perfect; ever so slightly blow torched for that toasted effect and fluffy and sugary on the inside. The rhubarb and berry was a great way to break up the dish, which was the perfect meal for someone hankering for a sweet meal.
The salmon dish that Lona selected was beautifully presented and she seemed to enjoy the dish overall. The kale was beautifully cooked and even my brother, who has never been a fan, thought it was tasty.
Overall, Frank’s is a great option for those in the deeper south-east suburbs. The food was well made, the venue was relaxed – although the acoustics were a bit loud. It is an easy option when catching up with friends who might be living further out.
Final thought: “Great sweet brunch options”