Bianca: Happy 2017 folks! I’ve been an admirer of Contessa Balmain for a little while now. Granted this has all been through some social media stalking, thanks to their rather photogenic cheeseburger. I’m not your typical Saturday morning active-wear type of girl. You won’t find me slurping freshly squeezed juices or lapping out of an acai bowl. I’ll leave that to Alex.
I like my brunches big and over the top… generally it involves some sort of French toast/ pancake concoction. And a big bonus when they don’t frown upon you ordering the burger at 10:30am! Owner Marco happily chatted about Contessa, its rich history and explained some of the more longstanding favourites on the menu.
Mumma Squads was drawn to their classic Contessa Salad $19.50. A hearty serve, with generous pieces of tender grilled chicken, avocado, eggplant. It really is the small things that differentiate a dish and the touch of basil pesto mayo and herb bread really did make it that much more enjoyable.
Ness was after the ultimate brunch fix and went with Rosa’s breakfast bruschetta $14.50 w/added hickory smoked bacon $4. A fairly simple and classic dish, nothing really revolutionary here. But it’s done well. Eggs were perfectly poached and the bacon was crispy.
Down to the nitty-gritty now. I was very eager to try the Deluxe Cheeseburger –w/ housemade beef pattie, hickory smoked bacon, caramelised onion, American cheese, mustard, house-made tomato relish on a brioche roll. With beer battered fries $19.50. Starting with the foundation, I have found myself shying away from brioche buns, finding them way too rich and distracting. Milk buns really do offer the best of both worlds in that respect. The crispy bacon was a fantastic addition and the onions added a touch of sweetness. Where the burger detracted slightly was the beef patty. I am pretty simple when it comes to my beef mince – salt & pepper is mostly all you need. I appreciated the herbs and veggies (I think I spotted carrots). But the over handling/salting pre-cooking did make the patty a little tough. A few refinements and slightly less cooking on the grill would have made this a much more successful burger. Keep in mind my incredible pickiness. This gets a 3.2/5 pickles.
And rounding out our rather indulgent brunch. Something we zeroed on as soon as we sat down. The Nutella French toast. Guaranteed if it has Nutella or peanut butter we’ll be eating it. Despite its heavy ingredients it was well proportioned and the fresh fruit helped cut through the richness. As a personal taste I’d prefer it without the granola but put it in front of me again I’d happily eat the whole plate.
We can definitely see why Contessa have stood the test of time and become somewhat of a stalwart in Balmain. One to keep in mind if you’re in the area.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Contessa Balmain.