As a nation, we’re pretty good at breakfast.
“Make sure you have your breakfast,” is a common chant from mothers around the country. They knew that the first meal was the key to providing energy for the day.
Nowadays, we love to share brekkie as a ‘meetup’ time with friends, with many cafés offering an ‘all day’ breakfast menu to cater for shift workers and late sleepers.
Breakfast menus are also changing, with new takes on classics and many breakfast dishes pushing cultural boundaries.
We are remaking classics, adding our own take to porridge, crumpets, jaffles and waffles. We haven’t tasted better crumpets than Rockleigh Café’s crumpets topped with honeycomb, burnt pear, mascarpone, shaved hazelnuts and saffron honey. And who could forget Elk Espresso’s macadamia porridge, a bowl of goodness served with sour cherry labneh, maple nut crunch and fresh figs topped with an edible flower. First Fruits Café’s buckwheat pancakes topped with berries and coconut yoghurt or bacon, caramelised banana and maple syrup are a delight!
Move over cereal and toast! Multiculturalism has hit the breakfast table. When we’re not redoing our own heritage dishes, we’re reaching out to the rest of the world for inspiration. Tortillas and flapjacks have long been brekkie favourites, but now we’re reaching further afield. Bao Burgers’ all day bao menu begins at 8am, dishing up little Taiwanese buns of joy. Hymn Coffee brings us a Viet-inspired hawker roll, and Bam Bam Bakehouse serves a 2-egg nasi goreng with wok-sautéed rice and vegetables.
Protein may be the king of breakfast, but vegies are queen, with vegan eateries being one of our greatest areas of growth. Be Somewhere is right on trend with their array of vegie-laden ‘Buddha’-type bowls, and Cardamom Pod Brickworks’ brekkies are gorgeous!
Paleo, gluten-free, vegan…Flexibility drives customer loyalty. BSKT is popular on the breakfast stakes for their ‘superfood’-dominated menu. Cocowhip, goji berries, açai, chia, quinoa and amaranth are now familiar terms on menus. Fermented foods, activated grains and nuts are also edging into menus. Our best cafés, such as Caffe Republic, are ‘omnivore’, their menus catering for all tastes, dietary preferences and appetite sizes.
So, how can you use these ideas to improve your breakfast at home? Throw some wilted spinach and a few tomatoes under your poached egg on wholegrain toast or add plain yoghurt, mixed berries, nuts and seeds to your cereal or porridge to increase its nutrient value. Be a little experimental. After all, your health is worth the investment.
NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on August 1, 2018.