Well, it's going to have to do because I can't seem to think of anything better at this point in time. Meh.
So Elceed opened just a few months ago, and I stumbled upon photos of its food on my Facebook newsfeed (I know what you're thinking - no, I wasn't stalking!). And it was put on my list of breakfast places to check out. Yes, I have a list for that. I also have a list for anything else that lists can be made for. I love lists. It makes my scattered and constantly confuddled mind a bit less so.
So I did get a chance to check it out (hooray!), and I loved it! This place, like Mixed Business, also has a cosy little backyard eating area with lots of potted plants and wooden tables and stools. It is more spacious than the backyard at Mixed Business, but has a similar vibe. I was really happy that we had the chance to sit there. The place was fairly quiet for a Saturday afternoon... which was a bit of a pity because it is a really nice cafe! So naturally, it should have more patrons... *hint hint*.
The food was very good - well-presented (passes the initial "needs to look like something you'd actually want to eat" test), each dish had a very good mix of components that contrasted and balanced well with each other, and (most importantly) the flavours and cooking methods were well executed (e.g. the grilled haloumi, candied prosciutto, poached eggs).
I had the Meredith goat's cheese with mushrooms, rocket and candied prosciutto on toast. This is a dish that I would highly recommend - that candied prosciutto - oh man. Delicate thin slices of prosciutto, candied to perfection with just the right amount of fat marbled through. It was practically singing out to me from the paddle it was served on (think Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma). Every bite made a soft crunching sound, the texture of which contrasted so well with the creamy goat's cheese and the soft, juicy mushrooms.
The other dishes sampled were the poached eggs (which JWT - the Matt Preston of poached eggs - pronounced to be perfectly poached) with spinach, yoghurt and dukkah on toast; the poached eggs with grilled haloumi and bacon on sourdough; and the upside down apricot and mandarin teacake served with clotted cream. I lurved the teacake - it was moist, and soft, the pieces of apricot and mandarin on top were sweet and tangy, and that clotted cream on the side was the cherry on top of the cake, so to speak.
And of course, I ordered myself a chai latte. Seriously, I've been having random and uncontrolled cravings for chai latte over the past few days. Damn female hormones.. On that note, I'm not entirely convinced that this beverage should even be called a chai latte because it literally translates to be "tea milk" (chai means tea in Hindi, and latte means milk in Italian)... ?? And then there's the obvious fact that it's a term that is an amalgamation of 2 completely different languages. Catch my drift?
But anyway, back to my chai latte/spiced tea with milk thing:
I'm pretty sure that I actually squealed out loud in amusement and delight when my chai tea was served, not exactly because I was that excited about the tea (there's only so much you can do with the drink), but because the teapot that it was served in was sooo quirky!! It looked like something from a chemistry lab that had been modified to vaguely resemble a teapot - a beaker with a lid and a spout, little bits of coiled metal in it (to strain the tea), and a handle that is effectively a spring bent into a hyperbolic curve! An endearing combo of cute and geeky. *Squee* The engineer in me found it very appealing and worthy of further examination and appreciation.
Seriously, the place is worth checking out. Now, don't all go at once - I think part of its charm is also the fact that it isn't packed and hectic like most other Melbournian brunch spots. It's the kind of place that, on a good day, you could sit at the back, in the sun, amidst the hanging flower pots, with your favourite book, while you sip your tea/coffee and lazily consume (or devour) your meal of choice.