Having graduated University, but yet to commence a proper, full time, soul destroying legal career, the two most poignant descriptors of my weekends are becoming clear: luxury and leisure. My mother is worried that I am spending an unhealthy amount of time by myself, as my weekends consist of pool side lounging and luxuriating, sipping daiquiris and listening to the cricket on the radio. She claims this can’t be good for me, but aside from a drunken pool incident which may require stiches, it has been luxuriously uneventful.
Alas, sometimes you need companionship, and always do you need sustenance, so before I commence another sun soaked day of leisure to work on my tan/sun stroked delirium, I’m hit up by the GZA for breakfast, as he is jealous that I dared saunter to breakfast solo on the previous occasion.
Spring Hill Deli is a relatively new fresh produce store come gourmet café operated by a rag tag bunch of alternative foodies. We waltz in and ask for a table for two, and the friendly young waitress informs us that “the couch in the corner has your name on it.” She has obviously spied our need for luxury from ten paces. Her dutiful and incredibly helpful service continues when upon giving us the menu, she tells us that if we’re quick with our selections, we’ll jump the queue in front of the table of 12 next to us.
Notwithstanding the wealth of excellent breakfast items on the menu, such quick decision making is not a challenge, as the only thing more steadfast than TCB’s desire for luxury is our demand for ruthless efficiency. From a list of incredibly enticing meals, I go for the haloumi and zucchini fritters, with avocado, bacon and poached eggs, while the GZA is smitten by the mere mention of homemade German bread loaf and pickle, opting for the fried eggs with pancetta.
Deciding to join the GZA in his world-on-ice, our iced lattes arrive and I’ll be damned if the sly son-of-a-bitch hasn’t been onto something for the last couple of weeks: they are delicious. A great tip of the cap not only to the institution of iced lattes, but to Spring Hill Deli, as they are made with beans sourced from West End’s much touted bean purveyor Cup, and provide a great coffee flavour, without the calorie abundance of cream and ice cream, or an increase to the core body temperature.
The food arrives quickly and is immediately appealing. The fritters are perfectly constructed, with a moist texture rather than the all too frequent dry, chalky feel, boasting a great mix of full flavors. Adorned with a well poached egg and sided by sweet, crispy honey glazed bacon and a spicy relish, this is a fantastic breakfast dish.
GZA gives a glowing report of his meal, noting the quality of the ingredients as a huge contributor to the breakfast success. The dense, heavy German loaf combined with the cheese and pancetta combo is a very European taste, but it is given a breakfast injection with the fried eggs. And a note for the ladies, watching the GZA eat a whole pickle is definitely a treat.
In recent memory, TCB have been covering a lot of solid breakfasts, without anything really standing out. This is what is so exciting about Spring Hill Deli: it’s new, it’s not over hyped, it’s gourmet, and it’s trendy without being too hip.
Alternative itmay be, but unlike other new “it” venues, you get the distinct impression that the operators have a passion for quality food, rather than a passion for looking uniformally different and aloof. AMac and the GZA both agree that this is the best breakfast we’ve had in quite a while.
Interesting factoid for those playing at home: the words “luxury”, “leisure” and their derivations were only used 7 times in this article.
Coffee: 8.5 Menu: 9 Food: 9.5 Service: 9 Ambience: 8.0
Reviewed by AMac & the GZA