Bianca: I was clearly in a French mood when I decided to visit both ‘Antoine’s Grill’ and chef and owner Anthony Moscovitzs latest venture, ‘Provence by Antoine’ in the same weekend.
Provence happened to be on my weekend walk route so I watched its relatively quick development from a former tapas restaurant into what is now an airy, open planned, provincial suburban cafe/restaurant. I loved the vibrant yellow running through the restaurant which contrasted nicely with the brown hues of the wooden chairs and floors. It felt homely and chic at the same time. Covered outdoor seating is also available but on the day we went it was both raining and freezing. So we nestled comfortably indoors. Staff were very friendly and were happy to make any changes we requested with our meals.
Accompanying me today was Madre and second mum ‘Mumma Cool’. Naturally a round of coffees were ordered, we loved the addition of the token marshmallow with the ‘Skim Mochas’ $4. Always a nice touch. The actual breakfast menu isn’t particularly vast but it has your standard breakfast suspects, as well as having a small kiddies section which parents will appreciate.
Madre decided to go with the ‘Eggs Benedict’ – smoked salmon & poached eggs with lemon & lime hollandaise sauce & toast. $18.50. Mum always gets her hollandaise on the side but never eats it, why she doesn’t leave it off entirely I never know – she’s special. I will sometimes sneak a try but I was too caught up in conversation so completely forgot. Never the less Madre enjoyed her breakfast.
Mumma Cool happened to get my second choice that day the ‘Croque Madame’ – Classic toasted bacon & cheese, topped with cheese béchamel and fried eggs. $15.50. To this day, I’ve yet to try this French classic, so I may have to go back. It was quite stunning when it was brought out and mumma cool really enjoyed it. My only gripe is the egg(s) plural, making any one that orders one think there may be more than one egg on the dish if they aren’t familiar with a Croque Madame.
I wanted to get a general scope of the breakfast offerings from ‘Provence’ so went with the ‘Le Provencal breakfast’ – Crispy herbed tomato, Eggs (any style – I went with poached), pork & fennel sausage, cured streaky bacon, mushroom ragout, potato gratin & toast. $18.50. I’d go out on a limb and say this will no doubt become their signature breakfast dish. It was pretty much a knockout. The eggs were perfectly poached, I loved the crispy element on the tomato adding some interesting textural elements, looking back, the tomato was actually one of my most favourite aspects on the plate and I can usually take or leave tomatoes. The mushroom ragout was another interesting take on the standard mushies for brekky. All other aspects were equally delicious, any complaints were relatively minor, the bacon tasted like regular run of the mill bacon, I did not pick up on any differential flavours, besides…isn’t all bacon cured? Blonde moment?
I have to say, I’m pretty chuffed Provence by Antoine isn’t too far away from me, I am keen to check out their lunch and dinner offerings.