My desire to come to LuxBite for breakfast was finally about to be realised - inventive cakes and Asian inspired High Tea was just the tip of the iceburg and in my books, there was no farewelling Melbourne without partaking in the city's staple meal; brunch. There was literally a spring in my step and I hoped that it wouldn't be too busy - I was ready to stretch out, lounge around the cafe and enjoy my breakfast in courses. And yes, there was also that little phenomenon called The Lolly Bag Cake that propelled LuxBite into their rightful place amongst Masterchef royalty to devour...but to be fair, they were incredibly irresistible even before then.
First things first on any visit to LuxBite often plays out in a pet shop like situation; punters practically press their noses against the display window and contemplate which morsel to take in for the day. There's a lot of "oooh"-ing and "ahhh"-ing, a lot of "oh, but I seriously can't decide!" and more recently, "THAT'S THE ONE FROM MASTERCHEF!" And yes, there was "that cake" - pre cut at $7.50 a piece or presented in take home slabs available from $35 onwards, dependant on size.
It is hard to decide - I've personally been sticking to the Endless Love Macaron and the Meringue Monster cake for the last two years. (Note to self: branch out more) Believe it or not, they look prettier in person and I think the best way to experience the ethos behind LuxBite's fusion offerings is to order the High Tea Set ($48.00) Included are any two of their signature cakes, two of their equally creative savoury morsels, four macarons of your choice and beverages for two.
Coffees feature Toby's Estate beans and start from $3.50 for a regular sized and $4.00 for large. I've never had a bad coffee here and it's one of those reasons why I just really love this place. Whilst their desserts tend to steal the limelight, from visits over the years I've seen that LuxBite truly pride themselves on producing everything to an impressive quality. I liked being there just as they opened; we easily got a cosy seat and co-owner Yen had just enough time to chat before LuxBite's suppliers began dropping by.
Breakfast was the objective and indeed, I sighted the menu for a split second before immediately deciding on the Cheese Fondue. How many breakfast places will actually do to Brie what must be done and serve it you bright and early on a weekday morning? My first swish of that perfectly charred fruit toast into the commanding pot of molten brie rendered me into an equalised trance of silent appreciation and wide eyed awe.
It may appear as though I'm too impressed for a plate of melted cheese, random fruits and what looks like burnt toast - but believe me, I'm not. This breaks all the rules and that's another reason to love it - why finish off a gargantuan meal with a traditional cheese plate, when you can start your entire day with what I think is better than the traditional cheese toastie. Sure, it requires own assembly upon arrival but this is the kind of food that you want to play with before devouring in entire.
When it comes to cooking eggs, 60 is definitely the magic number. 60/60 Eggs is sous vide speak for eggs that are slow cooked at 60 deg for 60 minutes. The traditional poached egg is well known and loved far and wide, but slow cooked eggs are definitely the future - for too long have eggs been crucified into breadcrumbs when all we ever wanted was to experience that golden river of wonder. A 60/60 egg guarantees yolk porn every time! (In Perth, our West End Deli and Mary Street Bakery do great slow cooked eggs)
From appearances, we gathered that LuxBite practically offers customers the Chanel of all plating - they treat their breakfasts with fine dining flair; it's minimalistic, well thought out and of course, is a pleasure to photograph. Whilst it seems that the lamb sausage was suppose to the main event of this dish, in truth...they actually fade into the background of the perfect pair.
Whilst the sausage isn't incredibly juicy, it has a tender texture and is championed by the flavours from the concentrated tomato relish. Like the plating, the avocado is simplified and presented in a sauce - the placement is practically begging you to take on everything in one mouthful and that's exactly what we did. You won't find the traditional big breakfast fry up here, but there's plenty of food to work your way around - I'd love to see how they plate their Lobster Bisque or Satay Chicken (both also $15.00) Whether it be the brunch, the presentation or their sweets, it's all noticeably LuxBite. It's refreshing to see their mark so quintessentially re-enforced across everything they do. Brand identity is important and this is a restaurant that really gets it!
Stopping at one thing at LuxBite is excruciatingly hard; personally, I'd just rather not bother. It's the place to indulge in and like a TV sheep, I had to acquaint myself with this devilish celebrity. For something that has seven layers, it tastes incredibly refined - I've got to hand it to Head Chef Bernard; you have a real talent for creating intimidatingly complex cakes that taste even better than they already look! The spearmint leaf buttercream is definitely the most prominent layer followed by the mandarin jaffa, which is a shame for Red Skin lovers such as myself! It's smooth, sweet and epitomises the classic lolly bag perfectly but what's even more important is that the cake travels well. I'm happy to report that a medium sized Lolly Bag Slab safely made it's way back from Melbourne to Perth and thus was efficiently devoured by my housemates within a day!
After brunch and cake, it just made sense to extend our breakfast to a third course of macarons - I told you, if there's any place to spoil yourself with an x number of courses breakfast, it's here. (Read more about my favourite LuxBite macarons here - they travel well too!) The earthy Bamboo Oolong Tea and the rich Creme Brûlée were each other's perfect contrast and once again, left me feeling impressed with their consistency. There's no doing an interstate visit to LuxBite justice without having a couple of macarons!
It's clear to say that I like this place - considering that I didn't know what to expect two years ago when I was dragged here on a drizzly afternoon in 2012, I've been continuously amazed by what they produce ever since. Beyond convicning me to even like macarons to the first place, they done some great stuff like debuting on Masterchef Australia and collaborating with other Melbourne establishments like Mörk Chocolate (Review), N2 (Review) and Wondersnack. My hope is that I'll get to see more of them and that they retain their great spirit and unique style for many years to come.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:30AM - 7:00PM