Cheeky Monkey

Posted on January 12, 2013

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It was a carefully planned masterstroke of mine to have brunch at Cheeky Monkey (89A Swan Street, Richmond VIC) since it was so conveniently located across the road from the Wittner factory outlet. Is there a better way of convincing a man to come shoe shopping with you than to feed his stomach first?

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As its name initially suggested to my overactive imagination, Cheeky Monkey is a little like a madhouse teeming with activity. If you wanted a quiet little place for brekky or lunch to enjoy your morning paper, I’m sorry you’re in the wrong place. The entrance was almost a revolving door with a constant stream of customers coming in during the brunch time peak (10.30am – 12pm). It was ordered chaos though, thanks to the skilled service team efficiently managing the big weekend crowd. There is ample seating both indoors and out for an establishment of this size. The decor feels quite busy with a cluster of those trendy oversized light bulbs dangling over the communal table. Along one side is an exposed brick wall, towards the back, closer to the kitchen there’s some wallpaper going on and then there’s the bustle of coffee orders being filled at the front counter.

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For brunch we had green eggs and grilled ham on Turkish bread ($15.90) and the bbq pulled pork sliders with chips ($15.50). The presentation of green eggs was lovely, with the ham having the markings of being charred over a hot grill. However this dish committed a major crime in my eyes; the poached eggs were overcooked. Despite seeing other patrons on nearby tables being delivered perfectly runny eggs, the ones given to us were abysmally overdone. The whites had lost their fluffiness and the yolk had completely solidified. My interest in the dish plummeted at that point. My fellow companion being the more forgiving one of us (or if I was to be brutally honest, the less discerning eater) still found merit in the dish, complimenting the general taste of other elements including the pesto.

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Luckily, the pulled pork sliders fared much better. They were downright delicious. The strings of pork coated in a sweet sauce had strands of caramelised onion through it. The sweetness of this offset by the crunchy cucumber and coriander. It was a very generous and filling serve, making it a good bang for buck choice. Only minor criticism was that the menu claimed the sliders would have watercress in them, but this was missing in mine. Not really a problem as such, but since it warranted a mention in the menu description, it would have been nice to actually get it in the dish.

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To wrap up, Cheeky Monkey is a good venue with a vibrant vibe, providing decent feed for a reasonable price. Coffee is of a good standard and comes in at a very economical $3 per cup. It would be the type of place I would return to if it was my local, but doesn’t really justify a trek across town. And indeed the bulk of the crowd does appear to be locals. Yes there was a pretty major fault with the eggs, but discounting that we enjoyed the brunch here.

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