The European has been reviewed 41 times by Melbourne food bloggers on urbanspoon. 41 times! It’s a well loved breakfast favourite. Corporates, weekenders and Melbourne visitors alike flock for the great menu and the fancy French feel. Until recently, I had gone off The European. A meal of two very overcooked poached eggs about ten months ago and that was it for me – unforgivable. But when I needed to find somewhere super special for a going away breakfast for Miss C, I just couldn’t get the European out of my head. It has that really classy café feel and a breakfast menu that makes it impossible to choose from because it all sounds so fantastic. It was exactly the sort of place I needed to say a proper goodbye.
Miss C and I walked through the doors at 7.30 am on a Friday to a restaurant absolutely bursting with people. I have never booked a breakfast table in my life. I probably should have made a reservation that day. We were told that there were no tables available but that we could sit at the bar. How very European. We agreed, thanking our lucky stars that we were even let through the doors on such a busy morning.
A seat at the bar would have been fine if Miss C and I had been able to control ourselves and refrain from sobbing all over each other. This was our last Friday breakfast before she moves overseas, our hearts were breaking. It’s not ideal to be crying uncontrollably at a bar, high above the other patrons and facing the front door. Mascara mixed with tears formed train tracks down our faces. We didn’t even have paper napkins to wipe them up with – they just streamed down unrestrained. Funnily enough, a table became available quite quickly after the breakfast bawling started. Remember that little tactic Melbournians, for next time 😉 .
When Miss C and I had regained our European composure we ordered the same dish, the Turkish eggs. Turkish eggs have been on the menu at The European for years. I have had it in the past, a long time ago. This time, it didn’t disappoint. The dish was gorgeously presented with two plump poached eggs sitting on top of baba ghanoush and bits of eggplant mixed with caramelised onion. The eggs were served with a side of crusty Turkish bread drizzled with olive oil, super crunchy croutons and dressed up with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and grilled peppers.
The eggs were perfectly poached – hoorah! Delicious and gooey in the middle they oozed out onto the smokey baba ghanoush and eggplant. The pomegranate seeds and slivers of grilled peppers didn’t really add anything to the dish in terms of flavour, but they did provide a lovely burst of colour.
The underwhelming part of this meal was the coffee. My flat white was more like a cappuccino without the chocolate and was luke warm at best. The flavour was average, nothing special. My second drink of the morning though, a peppermint tea, was quite nice. But really how can you go wrong with peppermint tea?
Despite the average coffee, my love for the European has returned. I’ll be adding it onto my breakfast go to list once again. Maybe next time I have a going away breakfast though I’ll make sure not to sit at the bar – and I’ll bring some tissues! Bye bye MIss C, I’ll miss you.
The European – 161 Spring Street, Melbourne