Breakfast at LuxBite
Address: 38 Toorak Road, South Yarra, Melbourne, 3141
Phone: (03) 9867 5888
Hours: Monday, 8am until 8pm
Wednesday to Sunday, 8am until 8pm
Last year I lost my LuxBite virginity after going on a dessert rampage with my two younger brothers (see the sensationally sweet blog post here). Since LuxBite opened at the end of 2010, it has become common knowledge that it’s the go-to place for perfect macarons and saccharine treats. But just as the cupcake fad yielded to macarons, and the macaron fad will eventually yield to a new ‘it’ dessert (whoopee pies anyone?), a potent question lurks in the sugary shadows: will places such as LuxBite survive? The simple answer: Yes.
When it comes to desserts, LuxBite have arguably the most creative and affordable in Melbourne, along with Burch & Purchese (read more here and here). They are not limited to macarons—although they do a bloody good job of them—and are constantly tempting Facebook followers and Twitter users with beautiful images of limited edition desserts and special offers where you can score free or discounted macarons (follow them: @LuxBite). But it’s not just LuxBite’s adept use of social media and penchant for all things confection that will ensure their prolonged success. Believe it or not, they also offer a unique breakfast and lunch menu, complete with specials. But can LuxBite pull off savoury as well as it pulls off sweet? I had to find out.
The family and I popped in for breakfast, the youngest member squirming with the knowledge that you can’t visit LuxBite and not order dessert at some point. Although we enjoyed a few treats after our meal, we made an effort to ignore the Ernestine Ulmer quote plastered in gold on the shopfront window: "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first."
For descriptions of décor, seating options, the interesting building, the countless flavours of macarons and the welcoming service, see my previous blog post here. I will however mention that there was one staff member I didn’t encounter on my last visit who was simply hilarious. After joking that photos of the macarons were $5 a pop, he admitted ruefully that a particular tourist took him all too seriously and began frantically deleting her photos after he made the same comment. Also, salt and pepper came in colourful cupcake cases, which was pretty adorable.
The coffee from Toby’s Estate was smooth and the generously sized chai latte as delicious as I remembered. There was also a selection of Emma and Tom’s juices. Let me skip ahead for a moment to post breakfast drinks. The affogato (espresso over ice cream) consisted of three gigantic spheres of rich vanilla ice cream that melted slightly when the coffee was poured over the top. The iced chocolate, also mammoth, had a ball of ice cream and a glob of soft, dark chocolate floating like icebergs on its surface.
The breakfast menu consists of five columns: base, proteins, vego, sauces and cheeses, and sweets. Each has a range of items beneath the heading, all of which cost $2.50. The idea is simple: build your own breakfast. It worked out cheaper than your average morning meal, but only if you resisted ordering dessert. The choice is actually quite overwhelming, but there are a few examples put together to give you a helping hand.
The weekly specials menu was also tempting. The choices ranged from a parmesan crusted chicken salad and a pot pie, to a feta potato cake topped with sour cream, smoked salmon and capers and lamb sausage rolls. There was even a dessert special dubbed ‘breakfast’: cereal, milk, French toast crumbs, burnt mango, maple, strawberry and passionfruit yoghurt ‘paper’.
But our breakfast puzzles were pieced together as follows:
- Two pieces of thinly sliced white sourdough toast with two thick slices of juicy ham, topped with a pair of poached eggs—not flawlessly spherical but with an ooze that can only be described as ‘textbook’—and a side of lemony avocado salsa which was tasty but a touch too oily.
- Angie’s crisp, lightly toasted muesli with plump mixed berries, chunks of banana and tangy yoghurt from Schulz Organic Farms, with added sweetness from the addition of orange blossom honey.
- Two garlic roasted field mushrooms resembling UFOs that arrived on top of a piece of white sourdough toast, complemented by a sweet tomato relish and a browned fatty cube of twice cooked pork belly, ever so tender. Unfortunately, the chicken sausage was forgotten, re-ordered and forgotten again (apparently it was reported by the waitress as ‘cancelled’, a fair—although incorrect—assumption, seeing as we speedily ordered dessert once we had finished our breakfast).
- A healthier breakfast assortment was the piece of thoroughly seeded sourdough toast with a poached egg (better looking than the one on the other order), avocado salsa and wilted spinach.
- Finally, just because he ‘could’, my brother ordered a piece of the seeded sourdough with two poached eggs (both still delicious, but again losing points for presentation) and a croissant on the side. Why a croissant as well, you ask? His response: “Why not?” As a side note, if you’re after a buttery, flaky croissant or fruit toast on the cheap, they’re only $2.50 a piece here, although jam will set you back the same amount again.
Overall we were pleased with our choices. The serves were medium sized, all the better to try out more options. I’m still keen to sample the waffles, maple infused bacon, mixed pickled vegetables, burnt butter hollandaise and peanut butter parfait, although not all together, of course. But enough of this savoury blasphemy… bring on dessert!
As previously mentioned, we ordered an affogato and iced chocolate, which also score you a free macaron. Flavours are randomly chosen by staff. We were more than happy with the salted caramel and hazelnut macarons bequeathed to us. The latter was especially appealing, its middle decorated with crushed hazelnuts. The macarons were just as I remembered: perfect. A brusque outer shell with a soft, airy interior and a decent amount of creamy filling; LuxBite do it right.
The enticing cabinet at the back of the store displayed a range of desserts, many with the Valentine’s Day theme still lingering. For example, “Tiffany & Co.” took the shape of the famous, aquamarine jewellery box, complete with a white chocolate ribbon.
We shared the "Summer Love", an oversized macaron-shaped cake with a watermelon biscuit lid, green tea biscuit base and a watermelon yoghurt mousse in the middle, crumbed with what I believe was dyed white chocolate. Inside were squares of lychee jelly waiting to be discovered. The sugar levels were off the charts, but there was still a combination of textures and fruity flavours that pleased even this chocolate aficionado.
With dessert polished off, all of our taste receptors were satisfied and our stomachs satiated. Breakfast was straightforward and enjoyable. Putting it all together yourself means you know what you’re getting. Many diners will appreciate this safety net. That being said, I challenge you to visit for breakfast or lunch and resist ordering one of the delicious dessert. Good luck, you’ll need it.