Gramercy

Posted on November 13, 2012

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Weren’t we Melbournians so blessed with beautiful weather this past weekend? The sun was out and it was actually WARM. How lovely it was to have a nice day during a weekend for once?! In order to make use of that glorious sunshine, I made a trek out to the other side of the town and south of the river, to Prahran and Windsor. I quite like the mix of the upmarket and the grunge these 2 neighbouring suburbs have to offer. The mish mash of higher end boutique stores and op shops make for great window shopping on a lazy Sunday.

So brunch was at Gramercy (162 Commercial Road, Prahran VIC) just underneath the funky looking Cullen Hotel. This was a purely opportunistic move; we’d just happened to walk by and it looked nice enough to warrant a glance at their menu and suddenly, I was sold. They serve breakfast hash; a dish I had travelled all the way to The Village Larder in Woodend for, twice. The first time I’d just missed the breakfast menu, hence the reason for a second visit – don’t worry I made sure I rose bright and early the second time round! And for the record, it was pretty good, but probably not really worth an hour drive out of town at the crack of dawn.

Anyhow I digress, Gramercy is a newish venture, having opened only in mid 2012 and is said to be inspired by New York’s well known Gramercy Hotel. Indeed the vibe is very on trend and the menu has a definite NYC slant to it (Reuben sandwiches anyone?). The simple and minimalistic feeling interior is encased within big glass windows and doors. The walls are adored with a few pieces of art as a further nod to NYC’s artsy Gramercy, but otherwise the focus would have to be the large semi open kitchen and side bar opening up to a sun drenched terrace. With the sun out, the only sensible option was obviously to dine outside on the terrace to soak in some rays and watch the world go by.

Coffee is supplied by St Ali and is a little pricey at $4 for a latte or other long orders ($3.50 for short orders). It was ok, but has room for improvement. My froth was cold and the coffee itself was served tepid, indicating that perhaps the milk was potentially sitting on the counter for a while before it made it into my cup.

Not being particularly hungry, my dining companion and I shared a mini beef slider ($5) and of course, the breakfast hash featuring kipfler potatoes, paprika, pastrami and poached eggs ($16.50 ). The beef slider was a very cute mini and provided a satisfying mix of flavours and textures. You would probably need ~3 of these if you wanted to have them as a meal.

The breakfast hash looked very appetising both in the menu description and when it was presented, but didn’t deliver what I had hoped for. The crime was that it lacked seasoning. While this could be forgiven since salt shakers were provided at the table and people have different salt tolerances, but to give you an indication of mine, I never add salt to any dishes when dining out and this was an extremely rare exception. Yet even after salting this, I still found it a little bland tasting (note to the chef, food always taste better when seasoned during the cooking process, not after). Which was surprising given the paprika, herbs and generous amounts of pastrami strips the dish carried. It wasn’t bad, but then again it wasn’t anything special either. At least the eggs were perfectly cooked. (Sorry about the photo being half in shadow, one of the unintended consequences of dining out in the sun.)

Generally speaking, our experience was quite average. Service on the day was friendly and fairly efficient. Food and beverage were ok without being particularly memorable. I am slightly disappointed by this, Gramercy looked like it had so much potential. The space is trendy and it seems like a nice place to be. In their defense, it’s not like we sampled a big selection of their menu. Perhaps we didn’t happen to order their better dishes (the Reuben might be a star?) or perhaps their dinner menu just fares better? But I can’t say that I would be rushing back to test those theories.

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