Words: Louise Miller Photos: Monica Tindall
Breakfast is undoubtedly my favourite meal of the day. I mean, of course, the leisurely weekend repasts that see you grazing through energy boosting dishes and a flat white or two. So acute is my yearning for this kind of start to my day, when there’s no work to rush to, that it has become standard practice for me to research best breakfast places before taking a trip abroad. This is how, almost a year ago, I discovered the original Melbourne branch of Breakfast Thieves. My fond memories of the great food and coffee have stayed with me ever since, so when I discovered that a sister outlet had opened in Bangsar, I knew that it would be Yum List worthy and immediately suggested to Monica that we check it out.
Operating in a 63 year old commercial printing factory that exudes the original branch’s industrial-chic Melbournian hipster vibe, the high-ceilinged eatery with its expansive windows is drenched in natural light, its urban features of concrete flooring and benches, exposed piping, naked light bulbs and dark metal lamps contrast with the light wooden structure and furnishings to provide both contemporary style and warmth.
We started with three homemade ‘Fizz’ beverages: Mango, Mint & Passion, Berry Berry & Thyme and Kiwi Kasturi & Mint (all at RM13). Stirring the fruit and herb blends with the carbonated liquid created a refreshing drink that would definitely appeal to the sweet toothed.
Our caffeine fix came in the form of local roaster Coffex that blends to Breakfast Thieves’s profile. Their current blend is from Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil and Sumatra. We chose the Magic (RM11), a double ristretto with a dash of milk whose notes of milk chocolate and toasted almonds seemed to do its name justice.
A big fan of the classic brunch dish, Eggs Benedict, I was curious to sample Breakfast Thieves’ Mr Terry Benedict (RM29), a pork free interpretation with 24 hour-braised beef cheeks in green peppercorn seasoning. Bathed in a rich, golden yuzu hollandaise with smoked paprika charred cauliflower, crisp diced potatoes and the ubiquitous poached eggs on wholemeal toast, this was an absolute winner for me.
A vegetarian option, the Leprechaun (RM25), was Mon’s favourite – crisp sweetcorn and zucchini fritters with earthy creamed mushroom, pickled radish, avocado mousse and poached eggs. The pretty pink wedges of pickled radish were a genius touch, cutting through the earthiness and richness of the other ingredients with a gentle zing.
Gypsy King (RM29) saw a combination of crisp garlic rosemary polenta bars served with beetroot and citrus cured Norwegian salmon, cauliflower and Parmesan purée, oyster mushroom, charred onion and poached eggs. Like everything else, this was beautifully presented with verdant touches provided by drops of avocado foam and fresh herbs.
The Breakfast Chain (RM27) is the perfect option for indecisive brunchers as it offers a combination of sweet and savoury fare: two soft boiled eggs accompanied by cheddar soldiers for dunking in the runny golden yolks; a berry compote yogurt with homemade granola and a little dish of apple, strawberry and ginger crumble. Besides being delicious, I’d say it’s almost worth ordering for the spectacle of the egg topper wielding! (see photo below)
Our final offering from the breakfast menu was My French Lady (RM26) and what a chic demoiselle she was! A full-on brekkie dessert that would leave no sweet tooth dissatisfied, this dish comprised a door-stop slab of French toast, perfumed strawberries and thyme, 55% salted dark chocolate soil all topped with dainty dollops of lemon curd and raspberry cream with shards of mixed sesame brittle. In all honesty, I would always opt for savoury over sweet at breakfast time but this dish could see me converted.
If you visit Breakfast Thieves after 12pm, you could opt for one of three dishes on their lunch menu. We tried Uncle Foo’s Fiery Crab Burger (RM32), a substantial Polenta crusted Pantai Remis soft shell crab smeared in a heavyweight punching homemade lemongrass chilli sauce and sandwiched in a brioche bun. Served up with a side of crunchy Asian slaw and kaffir lime salted chips, this was big, bold and bursting with flavour.
Reasons to visit: Mr Terry Benedict, Leprechaun, My French Lady, great coffee and a hip setting.
Open: Tuesday – Sundays; 9:00am – 5:00pm (kitchen closes at 3:00pm)