Pearl Cafe, Richmond

Make no mistake. I am a greedy pig. So things are pretty bad when I put the fork down half-way through my eggs. But that's exactly what happened this morning at Pearl Cafe, 599 Church Street, Richmond, Tel +61 3 9427 1307. What a train wreck.

The original Pearl turned coddled eggs into an art form. Pearl Cafe turned out coddled eggs that made my stomach churn. First, they wheel out a dish that it absolutely swimming in raw egg white. Not coddled. Not lightly cooked. Raw. After a short discussion with my waiter we agree that coddled eggs are not supposed to be raw, so they are sent back for a bit more coddling, or so I think. A while later I am presented with a plate of hard, rubbery eggs, the remnants of which are pictured above. Let's not molly-coddle these people. It was disgusting.

Normally, the combination of mushrooms, double-smoked bacon, sage and burnt butter is a winner. Somehow, this dish kills the magic. The mushrooms were wet and bland, not buttery and tasty. The bacon was wet and limp. The toasted multi-grain was dry and butter-less. And the sage was nowhere to be found.

But it's not all bad. If you go to Pearl and order the muesli, or one of the bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato panini, you will be very happy. The french toasted peach sandwhich with vanilla marscapone might also be good. And the venue is slick, if a little noisy, with cute touches like Japanese Geisha salt and pepper mills.

Just avoid the coddled eggs.

13/20 "stick to the muesli"


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