“Three Bags” bursting at the seams.

Posted on August 11, 2011

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Three bags full

Bustling with customers queuing to grab a seat, Three Bags Full has become a Melbourne institution. Anticipating their new sister cafe next door, this place is only bound to get busier. Having opened last year, the cafe has had time to build a repertoire of fresh and flavourful meals to satisfy the hungry hoards. The break-fast and lunch fare is worth the extra buck. Clean tasting, seasonal, flavourful food which showcases the skills of those behind the kitchen. Their sweets are worth a repeated visit.

The design of this place is geeky meets industrial. It is an old industrial warehouse, with wooden walls juxtaposed against metal designed furniture. Old street signs transformed into tables and chairs, recycled goods, and an old bowling lane as a table. The wooden walls are adorned with rotating artwork from local artists.The cafe has splashes of colour to lighten the mood, think warm coloured light globes and bright yellow seats. After a fifteen minute wait, we scored a seat in the private room on the long communal table. As we were celebrating my sister’s birthday, her partner and my mum attended.

In a competitive pool of the Melbourne cafe scene, their point of difference is good traditional service. We had a very helpful and attentive waiter. The coffee is what many come here for, they serve Melbourne’s Five Senses. We ordered two lattes, a chai latte and a long black. The coffee was great, although the chai latte had been sprinkled with an excessive amount of cinnamon that took away from the less dominant flavours. For a place which apparently has the “best chai in Melbourne”, I was left disappointed. The roll call of specials sounded tantalizing. We chose a coconut, mint and tangelo rice pudding, a carrot tzatiki chicken salad, the Free range eggs Benedict and the twice baked french toast with chestnut cream, quince and almonds.

Whilst waiting, my sister and I very quickly indulged in a choc-chip cookie sandwich, it was one of the softest cookies I have ever tasted which wasn’t my own. A great texture and even better dark chocolate filling inside. All of the treats are made on site and change depending on the season and mood of the baker.

Three bags full

If you haven’t guessed, I am a sweet-tooth and can’t think of anything more satisfying than ordering something sugary for breakfast. My coconut rice pudding was beautifully displayed and was quite a generous serving size. The flavours worked perfectly together in a manner which I would not have thought possible. To me tangelo is very sour, whilst here it was slighty tart and enhanced the creamy and sweet notes of coconut. The mint not only worked visually but gave the dish a refreshing herbal flavour.

Three bags full.

The chicken salad was light, vibrant and flavourful. Seasonal winter vegetables topped with a colourful carrot tzatziki. I really enjoyed the bold flavours, but had to stop munching as it wasn’t my order. Although I didn’t try the eggs Benedict, my sister’s partner seemed like he enjoyed it immensely. The picture says it all: perfectly poached eggs, with a generous serving of Hollandaise sauce.

Three bags full

Three bags full.

I was lucky that my mum ordered the double baked french toast because I was able to dig at her dish when she wasn’t looking. This was a sweet lovers dream, a rich chestnut cream and poached quince elevated the sweet french toast. The flavour combination was excellent. The quince cooked to perfection. The chef has a light touch with the cream. I haven’t seen my mum finish a meal of that size in a long time.

I bought two of the chocolate chip sandwich cookies for home, which were devoured sneakily by my visiting dad. I really enjoyed the food at Three Bags Full. Although expensive for breakfast, it was well worth the money. Strong and bold flavours, generous serving sizes and not your standard breakfast/lunch fare. The cafe acoustics are quite loud, if you are after a quiet morning sit outside or try somewhere else. It will be exciting to see the next door cafe open this month, and only time will tell whether this will have an effect on the cafe’s great service, food and surroundings……

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