The hype that has surrounded this cafe ever since it first popped up in Bentleigh East seems yet to have subsided - even 8 months after its opening, it's still drawing buzzing crowds, and it was difficult to fit two girls in at 9am on a Thursday morning! Luckily for us, the wait was not long and we were seated as quickly as possible.
|Freshly squeezed OJ|
As we began to soak up the ambience, I found it difficult to reconcile the interior with the name of the cafe. To me, Merchant's Guild, conjures up images of products of skilled medieval craftsmenship, harking back to the simpler and idealistic days of the Middle Ages, but the interior spoke to me of something different. It seemed to suggest something more along the lines of a celebration of the age of industrialisation and mechanisation, with their lack of applied ornament, opting rather for exposed services and pipes as decoration instead. Perhaps it was the dissonance I was experiencing that led to my inability to come to a decision as to what I wanted for breakfast. Even after giving us an extra 5 minutes to make up our minds, I was still undecided, so I just chose the first thing my eyes laid on.
|Sweet pea and feta, spread on dark rye, lemon and herb crumb with a poached egg (instead of Spanish sardines)|
Although I am all for trying new things, I really just wanted to keep my breakfast simple this morning, and skipped the sardines on this order.
The spread was a delicious harmony of salty feta and juicy sweetpea, lathered generously on a thick well-toasted piece of rye that provided a strong base and had that drool-worthy crunch that comes only from toasting the freshest of breads. Sprinkled with a squeeze of lemon and a bit of herb crumb, and you've got yourself a symphony of flavours and textures. Just what I needed this morning, it most definitely hit the spot.
|Villa verde scrambled eggs on GF toast with a side of short cut bacon|
N went for her usual, commenting on the light creaminess of the eggs and the generously thick cut of sizzling hot, juicy bacon.
Merchant's Guild certainly has that community feel to it, and it provides a vibrant menu of familiar and traditional favourites with interesting tweeks on them - definitely a must-try for locals to the south-east suburbs! And having observed other diners, and reading other reviews, it seems I missed out on a lot when I skipped my coffee order! Consider that note taken, I won't be making that mistake next time!
680 Centre Rd
Bentleigh East, VIC