Bianca: In an effort to placate my friends and offer them up something other than my favourite thing in the world (THE BURGER) I booked us in for a ladies Saturday lunch at ‘Orto Trading Co’. It was a particularly chilly day with speckles of sunlight, so we braved the elements and sat outside. It’s an inviting space, inside more so.
Joining me today was my gaggle of high school lady friends, five of us in total – my directive hints worked a treat and everybody decided on different dishes, so let’s get straight into it.
After a round of coffees and drinks were ordered we settled in for the main event.
My home girl Frace was torn between a few dishes but ultimately went with the ‘Hash’ – w/Birkshire ham, tomato, avocado, rocket, lemon, asparagus, poached egg $16 w/ a side of chorizo $5. She was, sadly, disappointed. I’ve seen a few incarnations of this dish on social media and have to say it’s visually a very striking dish. It’s basically the epitome of the Eastern suburbs for me, pretty, clean and sometimes…a little boring. The stand-outs were those little crunchy gems of potato hash and the perfectly poached eggs. I have a feeling that this must have been too ‘vanilla’ for Frace.
Easily the tastiest dish of the day belonged to Chris, with her ‘Southern Fried Chicken Benni’ – English muffin, hollandaise $18. I had major major envy after I had a bite, I generally steer away from dishes with hollandaise as I find it too rich, so adding deep fried chicken wasn’t going to help that situation. But it’s so bad it’s good, the batter was particularly crispy whilst the chicken remained succulent and juicy. Definitely a bright spot on the menu and a major draw-card for the café.
Down the other end of the table we had the classics, ‘Poached Eggs’ –w/a side of avocado $15.50 , Your generic run of the mill eggs and toast so nothing exciting to report here. As well as the ‘Huon Salmon’ –w/Jerusalem artichoke, pine mushroom, dill, apple, crisp egg yolk $26. Which was described as rather plain and lacklustre.
Naturally, I had the ‘Wagyu Burger’ – brioche bun, pickles, mozzarella, beetroot (which I nixed) tomato and polenta chips $18. Where to start? Let’s begin with the positives, the bun………………and that’s it. It was kind of travesty actually, too much crispy water, tomatoes on the bottom induced slippage. The mozzarella, while welcome doesn’t have a distinct strong flavour so it got lost amongst the other elements but worst of all. The patty, cooked to high hell, bland and virtually tasteless. I’ve only ever left more than half a burger twice in my life, here and ‘Andrews Burgers’ in Melbs. Sad times indeed. For my Facebook FBAS a 1/5 pickles.
Thankfully we got some sides so I had something to nibble on, to share we had the ‘Truffled Polenta chips’ – buttermilk and blue cheese sauce $9 and the ‘Cauliflower Fritters’ – buttermilk and blue cheese sauce $12. I do enjoy the occasional polenta chip but these, as well as my ‘burger side’ were really underwhelming, they needed a serious dose of seasoning. The fritters were tasty but divided the table, we were expecting a fritter consisting of diced or grated cauliflower but these were whole floret’s which I didn’t mind so much.
I cannot say I’d be in a hurry to go back, service was lacklustre and haphazard and the majority of the food was rather snooze-worthy. This is one the locals can keep to themselves…