Always keen to help with my brunch quest, a few people from work had recommended I find Greville Street, just round the corner from where I live and full of nice little cafes for me to brunch at. After days of unsuccessfully finding it, we headed out on a mission to brunch and not more than 100m from out front door found a sign pointing us in the right direction. Slightly mortified with how oblivious I’d been to the obvious signage, I set out to find a really special place for brunch to redeem myself and settled on Oscar Cooper: one because I liked the name and two because I liked the look of the interior and the ample seating outside.
Louisa was joining Lydia and I for brunch today and perhaps out of nerves at being late to jump on the brunch train or just plain hunger, she was being grumpy, leaving Lydia and I feeling the pressure to make sure her first brunch was a good one.
After dithering around outside for a few minutes, Lousia not keen to try it because she thought it looked ‘a bit fancy’, I made the executive decision and strode towards the door – I’d brunch alone if I had to, but I was going to brunch here. We entered somewhat tentatively and hung around by the door until a lovely girl came over to greet us and offered us a choice of inside or outside. It wasn’t one of the warmest days we’ve had, but for us unseasoned Brits, still warm enough that we were happy to be out in the air, and after offering to turn on the heater outside for us we were brought water and ordered our coffees. There was a warm and friendly atmosphere the brief moments we spent in the restaurant which seemed to contradict the almost industrial interior, there were a lot of guys in suits and decent amount of hipster looking people too (although having said that, I’m in Melbourne, they’re all hipster looking), but the baristas really seemed to know what they were doing and care about what they were selling.
My mocha looked great, but it was too milky for my taste and there was something about it that reminded me of horlicks, which is not a good thing. I probably could have done with an extra shot, and I didn’t think to order a second Americano to compare and properly try out the coffee. It was lovely and sweet, and warmer than I’ve come to expect, but it still didn’t quite hit the spot for me. Lydia really enjoyed the mocha though and ranked it up with the best that she’d had – clearly a matter of taste. I love a good bit of coffee art, but when you’re going to cover the top in chocolate, I think it helps to be less precious about it and leave the art and cover with chocolate, or leave the chocolate out entirely – I’m not keen on these stripes of chocolate powder on top of my mochas.
The biggest Benedict twist here was that it was served on a rosti instead of on a muffin, meaning you got a really nice crunch with each mouthful and the potato really complimented the eggs and the sauce. The eggs were hand poached again, which meant they weren’t uniform in shape (there’s something satisfying about that) and I was so pleased to cut into them and find the yolk was runny. I love the addition of avocado to eggs Benedict and the little bit of green on top added interest to the palate. The sauce was the closest to perfect I’ve found so far, you could tell it was made fresh as there was that hint of butter, but it wasn’t over bearing and the overall flavour was just spot on. The only problem I had was there was a bit too much fat on the bacon – if my bacon is going to be fatty, I want that fat to be really crispy and snap when you eat it, I don’t like fat when it’s still chewy and jelly like.
Because we were sat outside and it was a little cooler, the meal went cold quicker that I’d have liked, but it was delicious to the last mouthful. The staff were really friendly and it’s definitely somewhere I would go back to, however I might sit inside next time. Louisa immediately sparked up as soon as we sat down and again after she’d finished eating, which for me ruined the end of my meal, replacing the delicious food with cigarette smoke, my senses weren’t happy with the intrusive replacement.
The Bottom Line
This has been my favourite brunch so far, the sauce was the best hollandaise I’ve had, the avocado gives it a creamy lift, yolks were runny and I love hand poached eggs. The bacon was a bit too fatty and the mocha wasn’t up to scratch, but I’d love to go back and try an Americano. Despite it not quite being a ‘traditional’ eggs Benedict, the rosti really added to the meal, pushing my skepticism very quickly to one side.