So I had some pretty optimistic notions that I would keep up my good blogging habits while I was in Italy. Sadly that has not happened!
I could tell you about all the things that I’ve been up to in Italy, but I’ve had this post written up for a while now and going over the photos again just made me miss Melbourne brunch like crazy. So I thought that I would go at my own leisurely walking pace and do as I like with this post that has been a long time coming.
Walk Don’t Run
Looking at my blog posts I think it’s fair to say that I brunch out a lot. I would go so far as to say that brunch is my absolute favourite meal of the day. In my ideal world there would be all day brunch restaurants that served poached eggs and pretty pancakes well into dinner.
That said, sometimes brunching all the time can get a little repetitive. After a few iterations of the hot new thing, whether that be smashed avocados, micro herbs on pancakes, donut burgers or whatever the next big craze is, it can be a bit tiring. Walk Don’t Run treads its own path. The dishes have the perfect combination of Japanese flavours and Melbourne brunch sensibilities that don’t fall into the trap of needing to be trendy. I’ve visited Walk Don’t Run twice before and I’ve blogged about it once, but I love it so much that it deserves its own post.
The space is simple, compact and bright and usually quiet on weekdays. My favourite place to sit is usually the large communal table next to the window, but today that space was sadly taken.
Ryan’s cappuccino was fairly good. It was slightly sweet from the chocolate powder and very smooth and easy to drink. We both thought that the coffee had definitely improved since the last time we had visited.
Since becoming increasingly lactose intolerant I rarely order coffee at cafes these days. The Yuzu Kukicha tasted more of yuzu initially before mellowing out out into a light green tea flavour. I appreciated how the infusion was timed well and the tea leaves taken out of the pot so that it wouldn’t become over steeped. On the down side this meant that second infusions seemed to be out of the question.
Ryan really enjoyed his poached chicken with green tea soba. Initially I was a little sceptical because I make soba seasame salad at home all the time and I figured that it wouldn’t be all that different. However, Walk Don’t Run proved me wrong. This had all the usual ingredients of a soba salad but also so much more. The additional nuts were a surprising mix of walnuts, almonds and various other things. They created a complex earthy taste that took the humble soba salad to the next level. Even better, the overall balance of the dish was really well thought out. Usually when I make soba salad I have too much or too little sauce, but the rich yuzu tahini coated each strand without being cloying or too creamy.
The savoury rice porridge caught my eye on previous visits to Walk Don’t Run. Today was the day to finally try it! I opted for the tofu version instead of the poached chicken. I feel like this was an excellent choice as the tofu skin added a chewy texture to the dish. I’m not sure how healthy this was, with the abundance of fried shallots atop the rice but they added a beautiful savoury, crunchy contrast to the soft rice.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that a well poached egg can make any dish better. This poached egg was perfection. The yolk oozed out beautifully and rather than the yolk adding flavour to the porridge, it felt like the shallots, ginger and coriander seasoned the egg yolk, making for a perfect mouthful. If I were to describe this dish simply it’s the flavours of congee but much much more sophisticated.
Even though the portions don’t look that large, we were both thoroughly stuffed afterwards and couldn’t make any more room for dessert even though we desperately wanted to.
Some of the dishes at Walk Don’t Run are definitely on the pricier side. However, considering the depth of flavour in each dish and the careful preparation behind the ingredients I think it is worth it. Whilst this might be a bit too expensive to be an everyday café, it is the perfect place to collect yourself through their philosophy of mindful eating and the relaxing atmosphere. Without a doubt, Walk Don’t Run is one of my favourite cafes in Melbourne and every subsequent visit just solidifies my love.