“Don’t worry – it’s an optical illusion,” says the waitress as she smiles and places the Porch and Parlour big breakfast on the table. She’s responding to the look on our face – a combination of excitement, surprise and sheer terror at the enormous breakfast she's delivered. Luckily, size is matched by deliciousness at this small-but-punchy café and retail store.
That big breakfast comes with free-range eggs, soft boiled and then rolled in herbs and sea salt. They're served alongside a pile of crisp bacon, avocado, spinach, juicy mushrooms (sadly, the mushies need fore time in the oven) and roasted tomatoes. The house-made relish makes up for the 'shrooms, as does the robust, creamy and slightly bitter coffee, which they serve in a collection of odd-coloured cups and saucers.
Depending on your hunger, the egg and bacon roll with tomato, spinach and that kick-arse relish comes in two sizes – a two-hander or one-hander. The bircher and house-toasted muesli (often boring breakfast options when compared to anything with bacon) are big on taste care of accoutrements like apple, date, coconut, almond and cinnamon. But our eye is on the baked goods at the counter: house-made muffins, chocolate tarts and lemon curd tarts by Luxe.
While the food happens in the P&P’s main room, next door there are clothes, books, knick-knacks and wares for sale including goodies by Skinny Nelson, Nathan Smith, Wolf Love – the list goes on. Like the stock, P&P has a cute aesthetic going on. Oversized glass jars with preserved pears and pickles line the counter, which is given a splash of colour by Moroccan tiles. But there’s something a little crazy going on with the rusted old bed mattress springs that are pinned to the walls, morphed into pieces of art by the use of fake flowers and fairy lights in the shape of a cross.
Service is tight and comes with a smile, making Porch and Parlour a very pleasant place to start your day.