This new diner is proving that Fitzroy still has a thing or two to learn about sucking eggs
Baked eggs. Smashed avocado. Any breakfast fan knows that brunch fatigue is a real thing. But before you smother yourself between a pair of corn fritters, breakfasteers, give Young Blood Diner a chance.
This is Adam and Christian Ferrante’s place. They’re the brothers behind Hell of the North – the wine bar where midnight cassoulet is a delicious possibility – and now they’ve opened a diner to shake up breakfast with curried rice and coddled eggs.
Chef Sascha Randall has been plucked from the Builders Arms stoves, and her menu trips fancifully between Victorian England and 21st century Fitzroy. Kedgeree is a bowl of buttery curried rice folded with meaty flakes of smoked rock ling, coriander and green chilli, garnished with poached ocean trout, and slices of soft boiled egg. Welcome to breakfast.
The buckwheat porridge topped with shaved curls of blanched rhubarb, a few sour cherries and crushed pistachios does more for our sense of healthy righteousness than our taste buds. It’s a little gruel-y. Coddled eggs, on the other hand, aren’t doing anyone any favours from the neck down. But who’s going to reject sunny, soft-yolked eggs sitting under a layer of lightly salted cream? Only fools. We get ours with a fat hunk of cold poached salmon freshened up with lemony sprigs of watercress and dill.
We promise right now you won’t get a wait-free table on a Saturday. The place is packed with the proud owners of laptops, labradoodles, and intentionally windswept hairdos. Everyone’s drinking wine or lattes (made with Young Blood’s own coffee blend – it’s good, too) and taking a break from browsing the fork jewellery and computer key brooches from the Rose Street Artists' Markets next door.
It’s a chic crowd, although the diner itself is more canteen/beachside cabana than Country Road. Indoors it’s all hard lines and primary colours. Upstairs is a luminous yellow and white terrace replete with a bar – which will be great over summer when you’ll be able to look out over the markets with brunch beers. Right now, it’s a bit breezy and bright if you’ve forgotten your shades and a cardie.
For now this is a daytime only proposition, but it’s a good one. Lunch might be a soft and crunchy salad of globe artichokes served both confitted and raw with crisp slivers of pear, almonds and big shavings of parmesan. Or how about a crunchy baguette stuffed with roasted chicken and garnished with crisped up chicken skin? Plenty of places on Brunswick Street are folding left and right, but make no mistake, Fitzroy’s heart is still pumping strong.