Convent Bakery

Posted on June 6, 2011

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It’s hidden within the tranquil grounds of the Abbottsford Convent, but that is not to suggest the Convent Bakery (1 St Heliers Road, Abbottsford VIC) is anything remotely quiet though. A stroll through on the weekend quickly reveals that it’s teaming with activity. Family friendly, student friendly, arts friendly, yuppie friendly – yes, I think I’ve covered off the major cafe hopping demographics of Melbourne!

The Sunday I visited had enough sun out to ensure the outdoor seating area was full, where the punters were entertained by a musical quintet. We were thus left to find a table inside. Orders are taken at the counter and as well as the bakery favourites of pies/pasties, ready made sandwiches, cakes and the likes there was a small selection of made to order goodies. The coffee was rather good and I think is priced around $3.20?

The back room has a nice display of coffee beans and the roaster as well. This makes for a nice point of interest, good conversation starter on our table at least.

We opted for the hot breakfast options, both of which were served with their house baked bread and a big dollop of butter. The omelette of potatos, chorizo and spring onion ($13) was a generous and yummy pick, although if Idid find the eggs ever so slightly on the rubbery side of things. But that’s just me being pendantic.

The eggs benedict ($15) was equally well sized, but tastewise wasn’t anything spectaular. The hollandaise was a little lacking, it didn’t have the acidic tang that usually characterises this accompliment, tasting more mayonnaise like instead.

Then to round off the meal we had the apple and berry crumble ($6) served warm of course. There was a lot more apple than berry, which I suppose is to be expected, but the berry quantity in our serving was really rather disappointing. The ratio was 95:5 by my estimate! Also the topping was a tad bland. I only tasted oats, where was the crunch of nuts or toasted coconut that I so craved? Overall it wasn’t too bad, just not to expectations.

Service on the day was mixed. There were a few staff that seemed rather inexperienced and confused when we inquired about our order, which by the way, required a wait of over 20 minutes. This review probably comes off a little harsher than it should. The food is generally decent, but not great. So I guess that would bring the venue down in terms of value for money. You can definitely get a better breakfast for the same price elsewhere. But then again, it’s not everywhere in inner city Melbourne that provides you the kind of surrounds the Convent Bakery offers. So on balance, it’s a fair place to visit. And judging by its popularity, perhaps I just need to get over the small points?

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