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One of the most memorable brunches I’ve ever partaken in to date consisted of son-in-law eggs with a side of prata at perennial fusion favourite Chin Chin in the Melbourne CBD. So, when I realised that son-in-law eggs were on the menu, Nunam quickly and firmly found itself a spot on my mental list of places to dine at sooner rather than later.
There was a flash of disappointment when I found myself there this past weekend, only to be told that orders were only being taken from the dinner menu as it was Father’s Day (the first Sunday in September, only in Australia!). Luckily, they must have seen the pain on my face and somehow read my thoughts, as this was quickly followed up with those magical words: “You can also order from the breakfast menu.” Phew! Disaster averted.
To be honest, I barely cast a glance at the menus, seeing as I already knew what I was going to order. I couldn’t resist starting with a canapé from the dinner menu though.
Dubbed galloping horses ($7) for no apparent reason that I could think of, these tasty morsels of minced pork, duck and peanuts were certainly rather more-ish. I had mine on pineapple, and found that the freshness and tartness of the fruit nicely balanced the rich salty sweetness of the topping, with the succulence of the pineapple flesh also contrasting beautifully with the crunch of the peanuts in the topping. S had the mandarin segments, so I am unable to comment on how well that pairing worked.
The moment my longed after son-in-law eggs ($22) were placed before me, I could just tell they weren’t about to top Chin Chin’s offering. The accompaniments couldn’t be faulted. Who would have thought that firm yet juicy chunks of lightly grilled watermelon would go so well with perfectly seared scallops? The coconut rice cake had a wonderful aroma and a delicious crunch that added yet another layer to the textural complexity of the dish.
Yet I was left feeling letdown by what should have been the very hero of it all, the eggs. It hadn’t been fried quite to crispy perfection, the yolk was just a little overdone and did not ooze satisfyingly over the rice cake as it should have done, and the sauce tying it all together was just a little bit too runny yet cloyingly sweet where it should have been slightly stickier and a touch less sugary.
How great are the yellow cups and saucers? Although the coffee art on my long macch was sadly lacking, I was pleased at the robust but not overpowering flavour of the coffee, which had slightly caramel notes and no hint of bitterness or acidity – just the way I like it!
The wait staff were friendly, chatty and attentive, making sure to check in on us periodically despite being obviously busy tending to Father’s Day celebrations in the main dining room next door. The wait between the canape and our main meals was rather long, and indeed when I asked about the dinners there, I was informed that “it’s fine dining and all the meals are cooked to order”, so a bit of a wait is to be expected. At least they’re honest, I guess!
The space is decidedly retro and casual, and not what I would associate with “fine dining”, personally. There’s nothing to complain about, but at the same time, I wouldn’t rave about the decor either. The fact that there are 3 separate dining areas is nice though, as it means that you have a bit more space and privacy.
Lounge at the back of the breakfast room
Reasonable for Perth.
Monday to Saturday – Dinner 6-10pm
Saturday and Sunday – Breakfast and lunch 7am-2.30pm
223 Bulwer St, Perth, Western Australia
(08) 9228 8881
Here, you’ll also find several other trendy eateries like Sayers Sister and Nine Fine Food. Street parking is available along Bulwer St, Lake St and the vicinity – just check the parking signs.
Although the son-in-law eggs didn’t quite hit the mark for me, there were elements I enjoyed, I was satisfied with the coffee, and there are other options on the menu that pique my interest enough to warrant a return visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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