I don’t know about you, but I have this tendency of going into a kind of hibernation during winter. It’s not a hibernation where I spend the winter sleeping (I wish) but instead a kind of unconscious retreating. In the past I’ve noticed that this period is spent doing more deep thinking and reflective work. Maybe it’s the longer nights and the chilly weather which controls this.
In any case, I’ve tried to change things up this year, especially since the past couple of years has been a global experience of sheltering in place. I’ve seized this opportunity not to recklessly and rigorously go out, but rather make sure I am able to check-in with friends. In the process, I witnessed how our brunch spots, and even some of our regular meals have started to evoke almost instant feelings of warmth, connection, and cheer.
Here are some of our favourite nooks near the city for brunching and some of the meals I’ve now associated with certain memories and sentiments.
- Vegetable omelette in He said she said at Hyde Park: An omelette for brunch may sound ordinary, but this meal is hearty and always reminds me of the people I share meals here with. Each of them are strong, steadfast, gritty, and passionate. Some of our conversations may have been pierced with painful realities but there was not a better bunch of people to share hard times with than this group.
- Tomato, spinach, mushroom and feta cheese omelette, sliced avocado, tabouli
- Grilled eggplant in Coffee institute at Walkerville: With a large menu and coffees brewing until 3pm, our brunches here can last for hours and are filled with lots of laughter and fun. Okay, so maybe we’ll sit down for a coffee and a large-ish meal for a couple of hours, leave for a bit of a walk to a nearby park, and then come back for a round of coffees and a swap a few more happy stories from our work week.
- Grilled eggplant topped with haloumi, tomato sauce, yellow peas, mint, coriander, and garlic sauce, and a side of onion rings
- Mushroom ragu in Argo on the Parade at Norwood: Also with a massive menu from breakfast until lunch and a considerable array of pastries, cakes, and snacks, brunches here are always both comforting and restoring, especially after a hike through Morialta Park.
- Creamy mushroom ragu topped with sundried tomato tapenade, whipped feta and truffle oil served on sourdough
- Blueberry cheesecake french toast in Whistle and flute at Unley: Located at the fringes of the CBD, not too far from Victoria Park and across the treetop climbing hub is this wonderful little place for family brunches. Many sweet mornings are spent here reuniting with kin, catching up on what’s new with everyone and reminiscing on the memorable moments of the past.
- Blueberry cheesecake french toast with cheesecake mousse, oat crumble, and mint
- Granola and espressos in the East End, Adelaide at Exchange: I associate coffee here with mornings filled with purpose and a reminder of how lucky I truly am not only to be engaged in meaningful work and the opportunity to fulfill a dream (Ph.D.), but also over the years to be working alongside kind people.
- Maple buckwheat granola with seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, and wattleseed panna cotta
- Salmon poke bowl in Fine and fettle at Stepney: an inviting local with space for functions, this brunch spot will always remind me of how beautifully empowering it is to have fresh starts and make new friends. Sharing is caring, growth is evidence of life. Salmon poke bowls always remind me too of the tropics and a sentiment of ‘east meets west’.
- Salmon, edamame, cucumber, wakame, radish, avocado, coriander, steamed rice