I caught up with friends for a late Saturday breakfast – so late it wasn’t actually morning anymore and so late that I needed a “pre-breakfast breakfast” to tide me over.
Shire is a new-ish cafe located in Victoria Street, Fitzroy, a comfortable block away from the Brunswick Street madness. Happily for us, it does an all-day breakfast.
The cafe straddles the base of a new apartment complex, divided by a huge staircase leading up to the apartments. The space is decorated in a comfortably minimalist style with concrete walls and plenty of wood and stone.
(I should add it was pretty late in the day at this point – hence no other customers).
We sat down and had a look at the breakfast menu and I started to get pretty excited. In addition to offering all the regular menu items with an option for gluten-free bread, Shire also had the holy grail – gluten free pancakes. Shire offered pancakes either American style (with bacon, fried eggs and maple syrup) or sweet (berries or banana). I was so excited at this I did an impromptu butt-shake at the table. While this is perhaps an overreaction, keep in mind that I have barely eaten a pancake in the last 6 years (since I cut out the dreaded wheat) and I can’t remember eating a pancake at a restaurant or cafe during that time.
Despite my over excitement at the pancakes, I didn’t order them myself as it was lunchtime and I had a hankering for eggs. Thankfully lovely friend C came to the rescue and ordered the gluten-free pancakes ($11), allowing me to give them a try.
C was a little perturbed at the volume of maple syrup, but I enjoyed the generosity (and frankly, anything gluten-free desperately needs richness from a sauce to counteract the dryness). The banana was caramelised and delicious. The pancakes themselves were pretty good for gluten-free, quite fluffy and light, which is usually a real challenge with gluten-free cooking. I should add that Shire also makes regular pancakes, so those who can tolerate gluten can order those.
B ordered the eggs florentine, with the hollandaise on the side ($13):
The hollandaise tasted home-made, with a kick of garlic and a tang of lemon. Yum.
M had the breakfast ciabatta with avocado, cottage cheese, spinach and tabasco ($13):
Despite ordering the vegetarian version, some bacon turned up on the plate. Happily M is not actually vegetarian so she ended up polishing off the bacon as well.
A ordered the goats cheese omelette with basil and tomato ($14.50):
Despite being a bit burnished, the omelette was great – light and airy with a silkiness from the goats cheese.
I ordered the chilli beans with poached eggs, pesto and fetta ($15.50):
The beans were served in a thick tomato sauce, spiked with a decent kick of chilli. The eggs were perfectly poached, the fetta added some saltiness but the pesto didn’t really do a lot. My only criticism of the dish was how it was served – the deep bowl made it a bit difficult to eat, but it was certainly worth the effort!
Overall, a nice breakfast with lots of options for all. I enjoyed that the cafe is away from the frenzied pace of Brunswick Street. I will absolutely return.
69 Victoria St, Fitzroy
Ph: (03) 9417 3788