I was really excited when a Google search with the terms “Paleo” and “Melbourne” returned Palate‘s website. They do regular cafe fare but include some Paleo-oriented items in the menu. I booked a table for breakfast and set my expectations really high.
We took a bus from East Melbourne to Prahran. It was raining but I was sure the hassle would be totally worth it. We arrived at the almost empty cafe and were greeted by the friendly owner, who remembered my booking even when I didn’t mention it.
The place has been some sort of bar in a former life. You can totally tell by the layout of the dining room and the bathrooms. They take advantage of the fact by renting the place for evening functions, when the cafe doesn’t operate.
We started off with two long blacks (for a change!). Decent coffee, but not as good as The Hardware Sociéte‘s.
Long blacks ($3.5)
We shared a bread-free brekkie burger and a create your own meal (more about that later). The “burger” was described as roasted tomato, spinach, smokey bacon rasher, and grilled zucchini between two fried eggs, served with a dollop of house-made guacamole. Sounded a lot better than what it really was. The eggs were perfectly cooked, but sadly everything else was pretty average, and quite small for the price.
Bread-free brekkie burger ($16)
The create your own meal is a great idea for those who have problems finding menu items to suit their food sensitivities and/or taste. You can choose 5 or 7 items, both including one meat. Of course you can pay more for extras. Our chosen 5 were: 2 poached free range eggs, grilled tomato with basil, grilled asparagus with pine nuts, citrusy sweet potato mash, and Tasmanian smoked salmon. We were told that they had no smoked salmon and that they could substitute it with salmon fillet. Again, the eggs were perfectly cooked, but the rest was not up to par. The tomato was green, the “grilled” asparagus was steamed, the mash was bland. The worst part? The salmon fillet was cold and dry, as if it had been cooked, refrigerated and reheated.
Create your own meal, 5 items ($19)
It’s a shame the food wasn’t good because these guys have great customer service and their offer is unique in this country. I hope they improve the quality of their meals and I wish them the best of luck.