Munching in Mornington
Leaving the big smoke for the weekend and heading to the magnificent Mornington Peninsula? You’ll need to know the best places to refuel. How else are you going to find the energy to tackle the coast on horseback or paddle a kayak next to a pod of dolphins? Poppet’s Window took a trip to the coast and stopped at two of Mornington’s tastiest and most affordable breakfast and lunch spots. The research and taste testing has been done for you, now all you need to do is grab a table, pull up a chair and order.
Address: 2d Empire Street, Mornington, VIC 3931
Phone: (03) 5976 8632
Hours: Breakfast and Lunch Seven Days
There are only two words you need to utter when stepping into this humble, brown brick café: “big breakfast”. But that’s only if you think you can handle it. In no time at all, a giant plate piled high with eggs (done your way), crisp bacon, slow-roasted tomatoes, fat grilled sausages and sautéed mushrooms on Turkish sourdough toast will arrive. Your jaw will drop. Your stomach will rumble. You will leave feeling euphorically over-satiated.
Wash it down with a decent coffee (complete with a homemade treat on the side), but steer clear of the milkshakes, unless you like them unbearably sweet. Other breakfast options include all classics, from house muesli, fruit toast and banana bread, to ricotta pancakes, eggs Florentine and omelettes.
If you are stopping by for lunch, order the Turkish börek (flaky, layered pastry with beef or vegetables). This giant, Turkish take on lasagne is full of flavour with a crisp top layer and soft inside. With the addition of the colourful salad and a creamy, homemade carrot dip, it’s a definite winner.
Alternatively, you can snack on other homemade dips, devour a steak sanga or lamb burger, slurp the soup of the day, or scoff a gourmet salad. The servings are incredibly generous, so unfortunately we didn’t have space for the homemade cakes and sweet treats displayed both on and in the glass counter.
The décor in Blackbird café is quaint and homely. Bowls of fruit adorn the shelves and mixed flowers sprout from vases around the room. A colourful, modern painting hangs in the middle of an impressive bookshelf, stocked mostly with cookbooks.
Decorative bowls and knickknacks take up the rest of the shelving space and must be an ode to overseas destinations visited by the owners and favoured locals. With a mix of seating options and a menu that has something for everyone (there’s even a kiddie menu), this unassuming corner café is a reliable option that will fill hungry bellies with tasty fare.
Address: 3 Blake Street, Mornington, VIC 3931
Phone: (03) 5977 1177
Hours: Breakfast and Lunch Seven Days, 8am until 4pm
‘Cute’ is a pretty mundane, overused adjective, but there simply isn’t a better word to describe Coffee Traders in Mornington. You’ll find it just off Main Street, a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle. If you can see the yellow umbrellas on the sidewalk in front of the vine-covered shop front, you’ve struck gold.
Coffee Traders is the coffee hot spot in Mornington and they take their reputation seriously. Choose from the house blend (Ethiopian Sadamo/Peru blend) or the feature blend, which could be one of the house roasts or an imported bean. On the menu, they encourage guests to drink their coffee at 65 degrees Celsius. They also insist you let the staff know if there is even an ounce of disappointment, in which case they will remake your coffee. The feature coffee when we visited was a Cuban bean, recommended as a short black. My house blend cappuccino was on the stronger side without being bitter and delightfully creamy.
Inside is tiny: there’s the counter, a ridiculously enticing glass display cabinet filled with cakes and other goodies, and tables for two with wooden chairs on one side and black banquette seating on the other. The shelving around the counter is heaving with preserves and bags of coffee beans, all available to take home.
As for the food, the specials blackboard outside was offering the likes of roasted beetroot salad with orange, walnuts, and goats feta, as well as a smoked salmon bruschetta with red onions, capers and wasabi mayo. But we were after some good old, hearty sandwiches.
We ordered the BLT with avocado on toasted sourdough rye with whole egg mayo and the turkey, avocado, cranberry, Brie cheese and lettuce on rye bread. The bacon in the BLT was well cooked, just how we like it. The addition of avocado and a generous amount of mayo meant that it avoided falling into the trap of being too dry, like BLTs often do. Although it was tasty, it paled in comparison to the turkey sandwich.
There’s something very festive about a turkey sandwich, perhaps because they are so often associated with Christmas leftovers. When you order one by choice, you can’t help but feel a buzz of cheerfulness, especially when it’s genuinely delicious. Crisp butter lettuce, thick rectangles of sticky Brie and generous chunks of turkey; why wait until December?
We followed up our sandwiches with dessert. The mixed berry cheesecake was a cylinder of naughtiness: dense cheesecake speckled with soft berries on a thin, crumbly base, served with velvety cream. The caramel and macadamia slice was incredibly rich and unbelievable value for $2.50. It’s worth stopping at Coffee Traders for one of these bad boys and a latte alone.
If you need to replenish your energy levels with some caffeine after a long drive, make sure you pay a visit to Coffee Traders for a takeaway coffee. If you can find a free seat, make yourself at home and enjoy their simple but wholesome food.